Daily Archives: April 8, 2018

Throwback: Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force- Planet Rock

 Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” set the tone for electro, hip-hop, house and Detroit Techno. The Bronx DJ worked with keyboardist John Robie and producer Arthur Baker to make the song that gots its verve from Kraftwerk, George Clinton, Gary Numan and the Yellow Magic Orchestra. “Planet Rock” was a new kind of electronic funk that asserted the importance of the Roland TR-808 drum machine to pop culture. The machine would become central to the creation of countless records and subsequently owned the sound of modern pop. “Planet Rock” went platinum with little airplay and without crossover appeal. Thirty-six years later and the pulse of “Planet Rock” beats inside the culture even influencing the sound of trap music and mumble rap. The 2016 808 documentary was almost an exclusive tribute to “Planet Rock” with the original title coming from the song and remixes of it by contemporary artists used to promote the film. In 2013, Afrika Bambaataa’s record collection, papers, manuscripts, audio and video recordings became part of Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection. 

 

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