Kraftwerk (German pronunciation: [ˈkʀaftvɛɐk], "power station") is a German electronic music band formed in Düsseldorf in 1969 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. The band was fronted by the duo until Schneider's departure in 2008. Widely considered to be innovators and pioneers of electronic music, they were among the first successful pop acts to popularize the genre.
Kraftwerk began as part of Germany's krautrock scene in the early 1970s, releasing three albums in an experimental rock style before embracing electronic instrumentation, including synthesizers, drum machines, vocoders, and self-made instruments, in the middle of the decade. On commercially successful albums such as Autobahn (1974), Trans-Europe Express (1977), and The Man-Machine (1978), the group developed a style they described as "robot pop" that combined electronic music with pop melodies, sparse arrangements, and repetitive rhythms, while adopting a stylized image which often employed matching suits. Following the releases of Computer World (1981) and Electric Café (1986), member Wolfgang Flür left the group in 1987. Their last album Tour de France Soundtracks was released in 2003. Founding member Schneider departed in 2008.
Kraftwerk have exerted a lasting and profound influence across many genres of modern music, including synthpop, techno, post-punk, ambient, hip hop, and club music, and inspired a wide and diverse range of artists. According to The Observer, "no other band since the Beatles has given so much to pop culture." In 2014, the Recording Academy honored Kraftwerk with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. As of 2016, the remaining members of the band continue to tour.