Daily Archives: April 3, 2017

Ikutaro Kakehashi Roland Corporation Founder & Inventor Of The 808 Drum Machine Dies At 87

Ikutaro Kakehashi, who founded the Roland Corporation and invented the TR-808 drum machine died April 1st in Japan at the age of 87. Mr. Kakehashi’s work is behind the sound of some of the most influential music of the past four decades. Hip-hop, house, pop and R&B have all been touched by the 808 drum machine.

Mr. Kakehashi started his career in the ’50’s as the owner of a watch and then radio repair shop. He was an engineer with an interest in music and in 1960 he started Ace Electronic Industries where he started designing organs and drum machines. In 1972 he launched the Roland Corporation and under his direction, the company would invent the TR-808, TB-303 and TR-909 drum machines.

The TR-808 was introduced in 1980 and since then has been heard in music from Afrika Bambaataa, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston and Depeche Mode among many others. Kanye West named 808’s and Heartbreak after the iconic machine.

In 2015, 808, the documentary was released and it featured several artists talking about the machine’s influence over their artistry.
 Kakehashi collaborated with then Sequential Circuits president Dave Smith to create the MIDI standard interface that allows computers and electronic devices to communicate with each other.

In 2002, Mr. Kakehashi published his autobiography, I Believe In Music. Despite his previous successes he continued to work co-founding the ATV in 2014 after retiring from Roland in 2013.


Noname Gives NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Noname made her NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert debut with a three-song set that begins with “Diddy Bop.” The Chicago rapper released her Telefone debut last year and her profile has grown because of her live shows and greater media attention.


Maxwell Masters The Night In Tron-Influenced Video For Gods

Maxwell takes on the night behind the wheel of a Lamborghini in a Tron-like city for his “Gods” video. black SUMMERS’ night has proven to be Maxwell’s greatest return to form.


Steve Lacy Just Wants You To Listen To His Moron Single

Steve Lacy’s Demo EP is one of the best to arrive in a long time. The Internet guitarist put together six songs and debuted the infectious “Red” before the project was released. “Moron” is a song that was considered for the EP but did not make the final tracklisting. Lacy sings about wanting his ex-girlfriend back over a low-key arrangement that gradually gets hotter with the repetitious changes in the song.


Brother Ali Celebrates The Spiritual Journey In Own Light Video

Brother Ali’s “Own Light” video looks at people around the world and their various spiritual quests including Islam and Buddhism. Ali has returned after a five-year break and Rhymesayers Entertainment will release his new album  All the Beauty in This Whole Life on May 5th.


All the Beauty in This Whole Life Tracklisting

1.  Pen to Paper (featuring Amir Sulaiman)
2. Own Light  (What Hearts Are For)”
3. Special Effects  (featuring DeM Atlas)
4.  Can’t Take That Away
5.  Dear Black Son
6.  We Got This  (featuring Sa Roc)
7.  Uncle Usi Taught Me
8.  Pray For Me
9.  It Ain’t Easy
10. Never Learn
11.  Tremble
12.  Before They Called You White
13.  The Bitten Apple  (featuring Idris Phillips)
14.  Out of Here
15.  All the Beauty in This Whole Life