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Ikutaro Kakehashi: Roland founder and music pioneer dies aged 87


The electronic music community lost a prominent figure this weekend as Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi passed away at the age of 87.

This article originally appeared on BBC

The Japanese engineer created many popular drum machines, including the iconic TR-808.

Its sound is a staple of hip-hop and electronic music, used by everyone from Kanye West to Marvin Gaye.

Kakehashi received a technical Grammy in 2013 for contributions to electronic music technology.

Dave Smith - Kakehashi's co-winner - told the BBC he "was just an amazing man, a good friend, a very good competitor of course and just innovative continually all that time".

Before leading Roland for 40 years, Mr Kakehashi founded Ace Tone in the 1960s.

The firm made amplifiers and primitive drum machines, laying the groundwork for the engineer's future success.

The sound of the TR-808 proved a game-changer in the 1980s and 90s.

It appears on Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", and in the opening bars of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody".

Rapper Kanye West's 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak showcases the machine throughout.


Read the full story at BBC

Cover photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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