There is something brilliantly Kraftwerkian about the news that Florian Schneider, a founder member of the German electronic music pioneers, is leaving the band to pursue a solo career. Many successful bands break up after just a few years. It has apparently taken Schneider and his musical partner, Ralf Hutter, four decades to discover musical differences.
Kraftwerk have built a career around paradoxes. They made the German motorway network famous throughout the world, but were actually obsessed with cycling. The group's Dusseldorf studio has no telephone, fax or reception and yet they have an official website. So what next for the fathers of Krautrock?
The usual pattern is a lucrative reunion tour down the line. Somehow one suspects that it will not be that simple with Kraftwerk. Don't be surprised if they are resurrected one day as a Rhineland folk group. Unplugged of course.