If you have been keeping up with current news this past week, then it's a good chance that you heard of the unfortunate passing of Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider. Having founded the group in 1970 along with Ralf Hütter, the artist's contribution to one of the most influential groups in musical history, not to mention music itself, is something that can only be admired. He will be truly missed!
Schneider was perhaps best known for his work with the flute; which he implemented into synthesized environments by using early tape echos, wah-wah, fuzz, and ring modulation for example, but also playing the electric guitar and violin, also helping to develop forms of vocal/speech synthesis using vocoders, and even his own patented "Robovox" system, which was a key signature instrument in Kraftwerk's sound.
Recently, a new performance by cover band Toa Mata Band; consisting of Italian interactive designer and music composer/producer Giuseppe Acito, and an orchestra of Lego "Bionicle" robots that each play their own instrument by using electronic motors, pulleys, and rubber bands to trigger different things such as smart phones and drum machines, was uploaded to their Youtube channel, this time covering the famous Kraftwerk song "Tour De France", which was composed and produced by Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, and Karl Bartos, and released as a single in 1983.
Please take a moment to watch this very awesome set, which is a mash-up of an original song by Toa Mata called "Kop Aka", and Kraftwerk's "Tour De France".