Kraftwerk (German pronunciation: [ˈkʀaftvɛɐk], "power station") is a German electronic music band formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970 in Düsseldorf. The band was fronted by both Hütter and Schneider until Schneider's departure in 2008.
The signature Kraftwerk sound combines driving, repetitive rhythms with catchy melodies, mainly following a Western classical music style of harmony, with a minimalist and almost exclusively electronic instrumentation. The group's simplified lyrics are at times sung through a vocoder or generated by computer speech synthesis software. Kraftwerk was one of the first groups to popularize electronic music and are considered to be innovators and pioneers of the genre.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Kraftwerk's distinctive sound was revolutionary. The band has had a lasting effect across many genres of modern music. According to The Observer, "no other band since the Beatles has given so much to pop culture" and a wide range of artists have been influenced by their music and imagery. In January 2014, the Grammy Academy honored Kraftwerk with a Lifetime Achievement Award.