Kraftwerk (German: [ˈkʁaftvɛɐ̯k], lit. "power station") are a German band formed in Düsseldorf in 1969 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. Widely considered innovators and pioneers of electronic music, Kraftwerk were among the first successful acts to popularize the genre. The group began as part of West Germany's experimental krautrock scene in the early 1970s before fully embracing electronic instrumentation, including synthesizers, drum machines, and vocoders. Wolfgang Flür joined the band in 1974 and Karl Bartos in 1975, expanding the band to a quartet.
On commercially successful albums such as Autobahn (1974), Trans-Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), and Computer World (1981), Kraftwerk developed a self-described experimental "robot pop" style that combined electronic music with pop melodies, sparse arrangements, and repetitive rhythms, while adopting a stylized image including matching suits. Following the release of Electric Café (1986), Flür left the group in 1987, followed by Bartos in 1990. Founding member Schneider left in 2008.
The band's work has influenced a diverse range of artists and many genres of modern music, including synth-pop, hip hop, post-punk, techno, house music, ambient, and club music. In 2014, the Recording Academy honoured Kraftwerk with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. They later won the Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album with their live album 3-D The Catalogue (2017) at the 2018 ceremony. As of 2021, the band continues to tour. An extensive North American tour was announced and is scheduled to take place over 24 dates between May and July 2022. In 2021, Kraftwerk was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in the early influence category.
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