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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Werner Herzog’s groundbreaking approach to film has always included a similar outlook when it comes to music. Despite music not becoming a part of his life till later on, Herzog has a fine ear – from his extensive collaborations with Krautrock icons Popul Vuh and cellist Ernst Reijseger to the use of classical and folk music. In this conversation at the Red Bull Music Academy New York Festival 2017, presented as part of our Director Series and hosted at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium in...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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In their 2013 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, the unlikely duo discusses their respective musical backgrounds, their approach to collaboration, their absorbing live performances, and more. Ryuichi Sakamoto came to worldwide fame as a member of influential Japanese synth-pop outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra. Making abundant use of new synthesizers, samplers and recording technology, they pioneered a new electro-pop sound, with tracks like "Firecracker / Computer Game" becoming electro...
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In her fascinating lecture at the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy Cosey Fanni Tutti delved into the emotion, messages and meanings in art. Starting her career in the late 1960s, Cosey Fanni Tutti went on to become a seismic force in experimental music. Whether delivering confrontational performance art as part of COUM Transmissions, pioneering industrial music with Throbbing Gristle, or constructing a prototype for acid house in Carter Tutti, her work has invariably been years ahead of its time. As...
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As part of the Red Bull Music Academy World Tour in 2012, five hip-hop legends – each representing one of the five boroughs of New York, the birthplace of hip-hop – took the couch over five days, and each lecture was followed by a show in their own neighborhood. In this session, hosted by the author Alvin Blanco (The Wu-Tang Clan And RZA), Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna, Allah Mathematics and Masta Killa sat down to discuss the making of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Wu slang, and more....
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Tokyo-born Makoto made a name for himself in the drum & bass scene thanks to killer keys and melodies, exemplified across various solo and collaborative projects for labels such as LTJ Bukem’s Good Lookin’ Records. Inspired by classical music and fellow countryman Ryuichi Sakamoto, his story is one of highs and lows. Despite blazing a trail with his early work and establishing himself in a competitive UK scene from the other side of the world, he encountered some unfortunate contractual...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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In this lecture from the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy, former Jurassic 5 DJ Cut Chemist talks about his friendship with rapper Hymnal and their memories of the early Los Angeles rap scene. From breakdancing in the streets to hanging at seminal open-mic night the Good Life, both men offer an insider’s perspective on how it went down on the Left Coast. Cut Chemist also talks in detail about sampling laws and the best way to negotiate a path through this musical minefield. TOPICS: 6:20 - Early DJ...
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Marco Passarani was there when Rome switched from disco to acid house, and even played his own small part in the transition as a radio DJ. Since then, he’s been immersed in the scene, running labels, making his music and DJing all over. In his lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy, he talks dance music in the Italian capital, the ups and downs of running a label, how to avoid being messed around by the majors and what to do in the age of collapsing sales. TOPICS: 05:15 - Rome 15:32 -...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Southern hip-hop wouldn’t sound the way it does without Mannie Fresh. The Nola representative earned his stripes on the local DJ circuit in the late 1980s, before going on to become the primary production force behind the Cash Money Records empire. Laying down the entire beat palette on multiple LPs for B.G., Juvenile, Hot Boys, Lil Wayne, and Big Tymers, Mannie Fresh sculpted the big, bangin’, and brassy sound of the Southern bling-rap movement at its boldest and brightest. In a public...
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In a composing career that has stretched over five decades, hundreds of films and thousands of songs, Bappi Lahiri has established himself as an unparalleled force in the world of Bollywood and beyond. The Bengali-born singer is regarded as the first artist to introduce disco to Indian cinema, a stylistic shift that had a seismic impact on the genre’s vibrant musical personality for years to come. A former playback singer before transitioning into composing “filmi music,” Lahiri maintains...
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El Guincho is a one-man carnival, a Canary Islander concocting macro sounds from micro samples, a Panda Bear you can dance to. Growing up in an isolated holiday destination with only his father’s record collection to link him to the world, Guincho’s sample experiments brought him to the attention of Young Turks and XL records, bringing his twinkling sound to a wider audience. In his lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy, he talked about the experience of growing up on a small island,...
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On this very special couch session at the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy, we sit down with Arthur Verocai, a true pioneer of Brazilian music. Arthur takes us along the streets of Rio back in the '60s, when Brazil had just won the world cup, the first cars were being made, and, in spite of an oppressive dictatorship, bossa nova was born. Arthur displays some of his dextrous light-fingered moves on the neck of his guitar, while also telling us how he got hold of the first synthesizer to arrive in...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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David Matthews could never have imagined the surreal path his career as a musician and arranger would take him. From a quiet, sleepy existence in rural Kentucky, to filling in charts for the minister of the heavy funk, James Brown, David Matthews was working at the right hand side of the man who was to redefine modern music forever. Like many of the great musicians who surrounded James, history has seen his work eclipsed and sidelined by the myth of the godfather of soul himself. Fortunately,...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Jamhoureya follows four daring Egyptian musicians as they reconnect with their country’s distinct rural soundscapes. Traditions are scrambled and space and time merge as cutting-edge musical minds collaborate with those carrying the ancient heartbeat of Egyptian music. Follow Egyptian electronic artists Fulltone, Hassan Abou Alam, Hussein El Sherbini and Maii Waleed as they visit Luxor, Aswan, Marsa Alam and Siwa. In each episode, the artists travel to the location of their choice within...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Trevor Horn started small and became huge. He spent his early career as a session musician, playing bass on cheap and nasty albums of hits covers, before producing mostly forgotten sides by John Howard and girlfriend Tina Charles. But his massive success as one-hit wonder Buggles, “Video Killed The Radio Star,” gave him entry to the big league and before long he was producing landmark records with ABC and Malcolm McLaren. Renowned as an early champion of then-new electronic technology, Horn...
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The Junction: An Animated Series of Creative Encounters Stories of musical magnetism – how unique musical collaborations came to be. Animated short films tell the funny and often unexpected stories of artists, how they met, and the music they created together. The Junction includes episodes with Chilly Gonzales & Peaches, Lunice & Ango & 247esp, A-Trak & Nick Catchdubs, Jessy Lanza & Jeremy Greenspan, BadBadNotGood & Samuel T. Herring and Kaytranada & River Tiber....
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From being the first European DJ to play at the Sound Factory in NYC to influencing people like Patrick Pulsinger, Claudio Coccoluto has been around the block more than a few times. At the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy the man behind the Belo Horizonti duo recounted stories of aural sensations, the duties of a DJ as a guardian of music and mixing from memory and fantasy. TOPICS: 00:12 - House 07:32 - Goa club 16:06 - '80s Italy 20:13 - Italian influences 24:46 - Mixing 26:48 - Basement Jaxx...
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Appleblim is one of dubstep’s most experimental sons, always pushing at the edges of UK bass by borrowing from dub, techno, garage or house. Best known for his work with Shackleton on the short-lived but influential Skull Disco imprint, the man born Laurie Osborne has since spread his wings on his own label, Apple Pips, and by looking further afield into the expansive world of techno. In his lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy, Appleblim recalled inspirational London raves, how he came...
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Daniel Wang makes and plays gleaming, disco-influenced music that draws inspiration from early house and techno. Born in California, he spent seven years of his childhood in Taiwan before heading to New York to work in instrument and record shops. Sick of the changes to the city's artistic scenes post 9/11 he quit the States for Berlin in '03 and hasn't looked back. Wang takes his music seriously. He used to be obsessed with making a good bassline and is now concerned with structure and...
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Uwe Schmidt, aka Atom Heart, modern laptop legend and king of the pseudonym, has been lost in the Chilean wilderness for the last eight years, despite keeping up a busy release schedule on Raster-Noton, Rather Interesting, and many other labels. We coaxed the prolific German producer over to the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy to talk about living and breathing Latin American music, finally getting to a place where you can re-interpret Kraftwerk, the deep science of the cover version, his Japanese...
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Tom Zé was born in 1936 in Bahia, Brazil. Now he's recognized worldwide as one of the godfathers of the tropicália musical and cultural movement, creating psychedelic, subversive and inspiring songs that have gone influenced and inspired musicians including Beck, Tortoise and David Byrne. In 2011 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, he traces the origins of this counter culture, the dictatorship in Brazil, his first albums, and gives a spontaneous recitation of the Madrid telephone directory....
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Kutcha Edwards is a member of the Stolen Generations, a member of the Matimati people, aboriginal Australians, removed from his parents at 18 months. He began a music career as an adult, inspired partly by seeing the legendary bluesman Robert Cray. At first he joined the band Watbalimba before forming Blackfire, a group composed of aboriginal people who sung of their struggle. In 2002 he released his debut solo album, Cooinda, named after the children home he was put into by the government. In...
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Ken Scott started at the top—and stayed there for over a decade. Having got himself into EMI’s studio training program, his first session as an engineer was on The Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night album. But it’s as co-producer on Bowie’s first golden streak that he’s perhaps best known, stepping into the seat for the classic Hunky Dory, and remaining there through Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and Pin Ups, records that made Bowie a megastar but were also as musically diverse as The...
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Kerri Chandler is known and respected as one of the original creators of New Jersey's deep house sound. His basslines have rocked the set of every discerning house DJ over the course of the last 15 year. Chandler grew up during the days of the infamous Zanzibar club and its resident DJ, Tony Humpries. In this session at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy, Kerri talks about his first steps in production, working for major companies and the funny situations father and son encounter throwing parties...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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It sounds somewhat like a modern fairy tale. A seven-piece band called Fat Freddy’s Drop, out of Wellington, New Zealand, starts off playing local gigs and builds a solid fan base. They record an album in their own studio, distribute it privately and go double platinum in their native country. Racking up several awards for their debut effort, including 2005 Album Of The Year at the Worldwide Music Awards, FFD embarks on a worldwide tour. This the stuff of any musician’s dreams, all the...
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From his days pitching for design work from London’s thriving network of independent record labels through to his arrival on the other side of the desk as boss of Output Recordings, Trevor Jackson has survived on the strength of his ideas. These can be seen in his award-winning sleeve art, the grainy hip-hop of his Underdog alias and Playgroup’s disco-lit take on post-punk funk. In his 2010 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, he talks about being true to his vision and making music that stands...
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The name Mizell may not set bells ringing in every household, but to those of us who devour the small print on the backs of record sleeves, they’re legends, a family that has made its mark on music as firmly as any alive. Larry, Fonce and Rod penned the famous early hits for the Jackson 5, ushered jazz and funk breathlessly into each other’s arms (complete with synthesizers), and are even responsible for the odd disco hit. They also found time to help put a man on the moon, but that’s...
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Born in Rio, Eumir Deodato got his first break at age 17 when he arranged and conducted a 28-piece orchestra. He ultimately became one of the city’s most active arrangers and pianists, recording for Milton Nascimento, Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim. In 1968, Deodato moved to NYC, working with Luiz Bonfa and scoring the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. His reputation was further strengthened by pop arrangements for Frank Sinatra, Roberta Flack, and Kool & The Gang. In a rare talk at the...
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In this talk at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle, the late legend Leon Ware waxes nostalgic about his extensive musical career and songwriting for Motown Records. Leon Ware was a critically acclaimed Motown songwriter and arranger who recorded some of the greatest albums ever made. Born in Detroit in 1940 as the seventh son of a Ford worker and a beautician, Leon Ware's first song came together at age nine. When the '60s began he joined the producer staff of Motown where he worked...
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Starting out in garage-rock band The Nazz, Todd Rundgren moved seamlessly through prog, power pop, and hard rock and became a heavyweight record producer, with the massive multiplatinum _Bat Out Of Hell_ to his credit. Despite this he’s always championed new technology, experimenting with synthesizers and becoming one of the first rock artists to explore the possibilities of video production and Internet distribution. Despite early solo success with 1972’s _Something/Anything?_, he...
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The virtues of dance music are either setting the pace or, in most cases, at least keeping up with the ever-changing flavours of the season. Lars Bartkuhn has a different ambition. He's aiming for longevity, combining influences like classic deep house, soul, funk or Brazilian music with modern jazz elements. Together with his brother Marek and Yannick Elverfeld he set up Needs Music in 1999, a production threesome and label based in Frankfurt that rose to international fame among music lovers...
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In this public conversation as part of Sónar Reykjavík, Sigurðsson discussed his career, from founding Greenhouse Studios to recording his latest album, Dissonance, and detailed his particular approach to composition. Valgeir Sigurðsson is an Icelandic musician who blends the familiar and esoteric, exposing the new within the known. Over the last two decades, Sigurðsson has cultivated projects by diverse international artists via the Bedroom Community label, which he co-founded with Ben...
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Chris Reed's career began thanks to a cheap pair of used turntables and an interest in the sounds coming out of his native London, including UK garage. By the early 2000s, Reed had graduated to Rinse FM, then a leading pirate station, and to making his own beats with an ear for a sound that was becoming known as grime. His early productions attracted the attention of Aphex Twin's Rephlex label, who featured him on the first Grime compilation, and he went on to release with Soul Jazz, Boy Better...
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As part of the Red Bull Music Academy World Tour 2011, five hip-hop legends – each representing one of the five boroughs of New York, the birthplace of hip-hop – took the couch over five days, and each lecture was followed by a show in their own neighborhood. In an interview with longstanding RBMA team member, Jeff “Chairman” Mao, Crooklyn’s finest, Black Moon, discussed the group’s history, their seminal album Enta Da Stage, and more. TOPICS: 3:41 - New York 9:47 - How the group...
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Matmos is widely respected for their sonic adventures at the vanguard of electronic music. The Baltimore duo of Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt have made a career out of sampling strange and corporeal sounds, including the sound of vacuum-cleaned body fat. In their 2010 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, Daniel and Schmidt discuss everything from working with Björk and sampling to their 2008 album Supreme Balloon. TOPICS: 00:34 - Medical technology 06:34 - Drew & Martin 17:20 - Sampling 29:31...
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Maseo of De La Soul sat down on the Red Bull Music Academy couch for Boombox's 5th annual celebration of the life and music of J Dilla in Los Angeles. In his discussion with Cognito from Frolab, Maseo discussed the art of the posse cut, sampling, meeting J Dilla, and more. TOPICS: 12:53 – Breakthrough tracks 14:35 – What happened to the art of the posse cut? 22:30 – On sampling 28:10 – Group identity 37:33 – Meeting J Dilla 52:30 – Gang culture MUSIC: 1:21 – De La Soul – “Me...
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Adegbenga “Benga” Adejumo, alongside his partner in crime Oliver “Skream” Jones, burst forth from the south London borough of Croydon in the early 2000s with a string of minimalist productions that would forever alter a sound that soon crystalized as dubstep. Hanging around the Big Apple record shop and making beats on Playstation, Benga’s infectious energetic take on the new London sound made him a household name while still in his teens. Following dubstep’s global takeover in the...
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Since '97, Strobocop's label Karaoke Kalk has been pumping out bleeps and jazzy riffs to cutely destroy the prevalent cliches. Besides Karaoke Kalk, artists Takagi Masakatsu, Julee Cruise and Antonelli, label boss Thorsten Lutz likes to sit on the fence, creating his own niche next to the competing camps of post-glitch a la Mouse on Mars and minimal techno that have traditionally dominated the music scene in his hometown of Cologne. Pop sensibility finds an avant-garde outpost alongside...
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Since the Academy likes to spread the musical landscape as far and wide as we possibly can, it felt right to have one of the most fascinating outfits in Italian musical history sit down with us as part of the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy in Rome. Founded in 1908, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra (or The Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, to be precise) was the first orchestra in the whole of Italy to devote itself to symphonic repertoire; giving the first performances of some of...
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With his signature warm baritone voice and tension-building keyboard riffs, Leroy Burgess contributed to the success of many different projects over more than three decades – with Black Ivory, Aleem, Fonda Rae, Intrigue and Inner Life, and as Conversion and Logg amongst other pseudonyms. Whether disco-boogie or Salsoul, the underlying ingredient is always pure soul, and the minute it touches your ears, you're transported to another place. In his lecture at the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy,...
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Unlike most other drum & bass producers, DJ Zinc is a man of many hats producing tunes at various tempos. His first non-drum & bass track, the now infamous "138 Trek," was played by UK garage kids, as well as breaks and broken beat DJs, breaking into the top 30 and eventually leading to opening his own label, Bingo Beats. In this talk at the 2005 RBMA in Seattle, Zinc explains his early beginnings and involvement in the seminal production outfit Ganja Kru, the importance of...
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The go-to guy for anyone seeking the analogue dream in a digital world, mastering engineer John Dent started in the glory days of the industry working at Island Records in ‘70s and placed himself at the heart of London’s sound world seeing the birth of the CD and the explosion of digital. In his lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy Dent explained why digital sound is inferior to analogue and why mp3 doesn’t even register while taking us through the mastering process step by step....
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Though born and initially raised in Brazil, Claudio Simonetti is synonymous with Italian music. In the ‘80s he was a pioneer of Italo disco and before that he composed soundtracks for Italian horror films such as Suspiria and Dawn Of The Dead together with his progressive rock band, Goblin. The son of Enrico Simonetti, he was born into a musical family and once spent 15 weeks at No. 1 in the Italian charts – only to be knocked off by his dad. At the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy, Simonetti...
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Rhymeantics was a night of performances that took place in Liverpool as part of the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy UK tour. With a lineup of MCs and poets curated by D Double E of Newham Generals, Rhymeantics celebrated some of our generation’s true storytellers, with outstanding a cappella rhymes pouring forth in an electric atmosphere from artists such as AJ Tracey, Jamms, Footsie, Ocean Wisdom, Tommy Genesis and more – RBMA was on hand to capture the best of these moments of lyrical skill....
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The Arabian Prince has been making robots shake their shit since the early ’80s, producing his own tracks and playing live shows with The Egyptian Lover, World Class Wreckin’ Cru and the LA Dream Team. It was his early electro rap experiments which got him some serious attention and respect from his LA contemporaries, and soon his innovation in the studio and dedication to the party led to him working with N.W.A. alongside Dr Dre. In this session at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy, Brother...
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Legendary Jamaican dancehall/reggae duo, Steely & Clevie recall playing together professionally as kids, appearing on classic tracks backing singers like Hugh Mundell and Gregory Isaacs. As an umbilical link between the roots and dancehall eras, they devote much of their time keeping the old flame alive. In this talk at the 2005 RBMA in Seattle, they explain why, expanding on the magic of the old songs and how they have to remind the youth of their islands musical history. They also relive...
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Jamhoureya follows four daring Egyptian musicians as they reconnect with their country’s distinct rural soundscapes. Traditions are scrambled and space and time merge as cutting-edge musical minds collaborate with those carrying the ancient heartbeat of Egyptian music. Follow Egyptian electronic artists Fulltone, Hassan Abou Alam, Hussein El Sherbini and Maii Waleed as they visit Luxor, Aswan, Marsa Alam and Siwa. In each episode, the artists travel to the location of their choice within...
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Alex Rosner began his love affair with sound in the golden age of hi-fi – and by the early ‘70s had pioneered the first stereo soundsystem in clubs. You’re likely to hear his name mentioned in connection with the success of legendary New York clubs such as David Mancuso’s The Loft, but you might not know he radically changed the world of DJing when he came up with the prototype for another new gadget – a friendly little mixer with a cueing system called Rosie. Alex Rosner has plenty...
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Rhymeantics was a night of performances that took place in Liverpool as part of the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy UK tour. With a lineup of MCs and poets curated by D Double E of Newham Generals, Rhymeantics celebrated some of our generation’s true storytellers, with outstanding a cappella rhymes pouring forth in an electric atmosphere from artists such as AJ Tracey, Jamms, Footsie, Ocean Wisdom, Tommy Genesis and more – RBMA was on hand to capture the best of these moments of lyrical skill....
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Henrik Schwarz is a long time veteran of the German deep house scene, having cut his teeth as a DJ in the ’90s, but it’s been his forays into production that have really set dancefloors alight; his extended, epic approach bringing a jazzy ambience to the 4/4 groove. In addition to running his Sunday Music label, he’s remixed everyone from The Sunburst Band to DJ Hell and Kuniyuki, and recently rolled with Dixon and Âme as part of the Innervisions Orchestra, and collaborating on their mix...
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UK-born, Berlin-based Ewan Pearson has been turbo-boosting dancefloors since 1996. In that time he wrote a book and released a gaggle of challenging tracks. Pearson’s productions surprise even the most jaded ears - like the man, they’re offbeat, but on point, with a charmingly unpretentious disposition. He’s also put his addictive techno-pop touch to remixes for Pet Shop Boys, Goldfrapp, Erlend Øye, and Depeche Mode (among many others), and even produced albums for Tracey Thorn and The...
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They don't come much more Motor City than Black Milk. Just growing up in Detroit is a lesson in beat-making and this man took to producing like kids take to a cookie jar, forging instantly recognizable instrumentals for the likes of Slum Village and 313 favorite Dwele while still a teenager. In this lecture at the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy in Melbourne, we take a trip inside the mind of a real hip-hop virtuoso. TOPICS: 01:13 - Hip-hop 08:30 - Slum Village 13:10 - Detroit 20:36 - Underground...
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Having stepped out on labels like Itiswhatitis, Perlon, and his own Wagon Repair, New Zealand born Canadian prodigy Mathew Jonson has stomped loudly yet elegantly through the world of techno. A piano and percussion maestro from a young age, he combines musicality with proper, hands-on, analog outboard action. Gilles Peterson and Laurent Garnier are just two of those who've said "yes" to Mathew Jonson's mutability. In this talk at the 2005 RBMA in Seattle, Mathew explains his studio...
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Rhymeantics was a night of performances that took place in Liverpool as part of the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy UK tour. With a lineup of MCs and poets curated by D Double E of Newham Generals, Rhymeantics celebrated some of our generation’s true storytellers, with outstanding a cappella rhymes pouring forth in an electric atmosphere from artists such as AJ Tracey, Jamms, Footsie, Ocean Wisdom, Tommy Genesis and more – RBMA was on hand to capture the best of these moments of lyrical skill....
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Seattle journalist Paul de Barros has interviewed every jazz legend you can think of and covers festivals around the world. He writes a weekly column for the Seattle Times and is a contributor to Downbeat magazine. His 1993 book Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots Of Jazz In Seattle is a tribute to the rich musical history of his adopted hometown and digs deep into its social and political context. In this talk at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle, he takes a journey through time and...
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Pedro Winter is a modern day Malcom McLaren. Impressario and musician alike, this Parisian used to manage what is arguably the most influential dance music act of the ’90s, Daft Punk, before he started his own label Ed Banger Records in 2003. Since then, he’s shown the world that it’s still possible to successfully deal with music, pushing the careers of the likes of Justice, Uffie, DJ Mehdi or Mr. Oizo, while anticipating and shaping a colorful trend called nu-rave with the label’s...
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At its peak in the mid-70s, Italy’s Baia Degli Angeli was the most glamorous and musically adventurous nightclub in Europe, a rival to New York's Studio 54. Spread over four floors, the focus of the club's over-the-top interior was the moving DJ booth – located inside a glass elevator – where Claudio Rispoli, AKA Moz-Art, hypnotized clubbers with an eclectic selection of disco hits, soul, reggae, Afrobeat and even library music. The off-kilter DJing style he perfected alongside fellow...
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Hailing from New Haven, Connecticut, Andrew Lustman, AKA FaltyDL, fell in love with British dance music and never looked back. Caught in a crossfire of influences, from dub, techno and house to hip-hop and future soul, FaltyDL’s abilities have been acknowledged by a range of acclaimed electronic labels since his debut in 2009, including Planet Mu, Ramp, Rush Hour, 50Weapons, Swamp 81 and Hemlock. In 2013 he released his Hardcourage album on the iconic Ninja Tune imprint, marking another high...
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Their name says it all: Masters At Work. “Little” Louie Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez have spent more than 20 years together, shepherding dance music down new paths with their inventive production style and imaginative feel for different musical forms. Synonymous with the rise and peak of NYC house music, Kenny Dope and Louie Vega met through their mutual friend Todd Terry, resulting in a fruitful production partnership full of timeless hits. With remixes being their specialty, the...
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From the late 1960s to the present day, Tom Oberheim has shaped the development of modern musicianship in a way that very few others manage to, building legendary devices that have been used by everyone from the Pat Metheny Group to Underground Resistance. In fact, for a time in the 1980s it seemed just about impossible to score a hit without an Oberheim DMX or OB-Xa – just ask Run DMC and Van Halen. What’s more, Oberheim has lost none of the enthusiasm that led him to the industry in the...
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Joe Goddard is more than just the man behind Hot Chip’s electro-pop sound. He’s also London’s premier producer for hire, ace DJ and one half of the Greco-Roman club night and label, as well as US house obsessives 2 Bears. On top of that, his love of the beats and basslines of his hometown means there’s no one better placed to run through its ever-changing iterations. In his 2010 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, he talks about starting a successful band while still at school, his...
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The sound of Los Angeles’s current spiritual jazz and beat scene is shaped by many hearts and minds, as well as the ears and creativity of Benjamin Tierney. Beginning as an in-house engineer at Bomb Shelter Studios in downtown Los Angeles, the Minnesota native immersed himself in LA’s beat and jazz underground in 2007 following a chance encounter with Carlos Niño. In 2009, Tierney was brought on to record, mix and co-produce the seminal project *Suite for Ma Dukes*, an orchestral EP by...
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To many, Sir Mix-A-Lot is best known for his booty anthem “Baby Got Back.” But as this talk at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy in his home town of Seattle reveals, he is a real-deal hip-hop pioneer. Here, he looks back on his early partnership with Sea Town legend Nes Rodriguez, his breakout moment and how a well-known music-industry figure in ripped jeans and a beat-up Dodge helped him hone his image, a persona that would later lead him into the trap of making music for money rather than...
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Michaela Melián grew up the classical way, playing in orchestras from a young age. During art college she was asked to found Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle with fellow art fanzine contributors, and she immediately swapped her cello for the bass guitar. F.S.K. have always been the punk band's punk band, in spirit if not in style, with an against-the-grain ethos that means they're likely to change shape just when you think you have a grip on them. Never one to respect convention, let alone...
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He may not be the Godfather, but Bootsy Collins sits at the center of funk’s engine room. First with James Brown, then with Parliament-Funkadelic, his were the basslines that fueled the grooves that have kept modern music bumping. From Cincinnati to stages worldwide, Collins embraced the potential of the music he was a part of and in the process became one of funk’s best-known and loved representatives. In this lecture at the 2011 Red Bull Music Academy, he retraces his early steps, recalls...
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Mulatu Astatke became an international star in his 60s, thanks to the Ethiopiques series of reissue albums and the subsequent use of his music in the Jim Jarmusch movie Broken Flowers. What brought this interest was a life spent innovating. Born in Jimma, Ethiopia, Astatke trained in London, New York City and Boston where he began to blend jazz and Latin music with the music of his homeland. From the ’50s to the ’70s he worked with many popular Ethiopian artists as a musician and arranger,...
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Even if you're not familiar with his name, you know Bob Power's work if you bought a good hip hop record some time between 1990 and the mid-2000s. From true-school classics like A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders or The Low End Theory, through to defining the seminal sound of The Roots on four of their groundbreaking albums, or even helping out on dancefloor party jams like Dee-Lite's ”Groove Is In The Heart“, Bob Power's contribution to the history of urban beats is vast. But you...
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As one of the first DJs to make it onto the radio, Kool DJ Red Alert was there when hip-hop history began. In this talk at the 2005 RBMA in Seattle, Red takes us through the days when it was a local phenomenon, confined to a few blocks in the South Bronx. He talks about Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and the other legends who laid down the template. We hear about the records that rocked the block parties, the equipment that was used to blow up the sound, the local stars who...
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Geologist, librettist and adventurer in sound and music, Dr Peter Zinovieff was the first person to own a home computer – or rather a computer at home, as his huge device is unrecognizable from the modern PC or Mac. At EMS he helped design and build the acclaimed VCS and Synthi series, which have now become the stuff of legend and the dreams of collectors. In his 2010 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, Zinovieff talks about the connections between his science and his art, discusses how to...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Tony Colman is today best known for his work as London Elektricity and the label he runs, Hospital Records. He has been working hard since day one, back in 1988 when his Tottenham-based jazz-funk band IZIT spent their last 200 pounds to press up a batch of vinyl. As we found out at the 2003 academy, Tony has been hooked on running independently ever since. Another Tottenham crew, known as Shut Up And Dance, turned him on to faster flavours - and in '95 he and Chris Goss debuted their own brand...
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Since gaining note in the ’80s as part of Austrian avant-rockers Maische, Christian Fennesz has become a key figure in the electronic world. Drawing inspiration from techno and Editions Mego, he melds computers with his own favored instrument, the guitar. His work has inspired IDM producers and led to collaborations with heavyweights of the experimental world like Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian and Mike Patton. In his lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy, he talks about his love of...
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First appearing within British dance music in the early 2000s, Sinden soon made a name as part of a new breed of young producers unafraid to reshape and redefine UK club sounds by voraciously borrowing from the past and present. Raised on a standard diet of hip-hop and electronic music, Sinden cut his teeth with some help from Dave Taylor before setting up a collaboration with Herve, The Count & Sinden, that brought them to the attention of Domino Records and a 2010 debut album. Since then...
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IG Culture has been a leading figure in the UK’s underground since 1990, when Dodge City Productions’ “accidental” deal with Island Records catapulted him into the spotlight. Following those early forays IG established himself as one of London’s most reliable producers, a man with an ear for classic sounds that is equally comfortable twisting up new styles, producing for the likes of Monday Michiru and Roots Manuva. In the early 2000s, he became part of London’s short-lived but...
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Winston Hazel, Toddla T and DJ Q represent three distinct generation of Sheffield sounds. Hazel is one of the city’s modern pioneers, a DJ at the Jive Turkey parties and one-third of electronic trio Forgemasters, whose “Track With No Name” was the first release on Warp Records. Toddla T grew up with Hazel’s selections, fashioning a voracious appetite for music that led to a position at Kenwood Studios and eventually to a solo career as a producer and DJ with a unique soundsystem...
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On April 5th, 1998, the very first Red Bull Music Academy lecture took place in Berlin, with techno pioneer Jeff Mills sitting on the couch to dispense wisdom earned throughout his trailblazing career. Over the 20 years since, RBMA lectures have expanded to include all manner of inspiring music-makers around the world, from well-known artists to behind-the-scenes legends. But whether they’re a household name or a quiet influence, RBMA lecturers represent an unparalleled source of musical...
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Born Matthijs Rook in the Dutch city of Utrecht, Nicolay spent his early life studying music at university and playing in funk and soul bands. Then he dropped out of school, discovered J Dilla and began posting his own beats on the Okayplayer message board. It was there that Nicolay found Little Brother’s Phonte, a rapper with whom he began swapping rhymes and instrumentals via email. In 2004, the fruits of this transcontinental partnership were released, in the form of the Foreign...
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From humble beginnings in the Canadian backwaters, Dan Snaith, aka Caribou, shook off a teenage love of prog rock to get deep and spiritual with the likes of Albert Ayler and John Coltrane. A chance meeting with British producer Four Tet was all it took for the world to be exposed to his beautiful music. Speaking at the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy, he explains how you don't need a fancy set-up to make fantastic electronic music – just a crappy Radio Shack microphone, some Yamaha kids...
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Rhymeantics was a night of performances that took place in Liverpool as part of the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy UK tour. With a lineup of MCs and poets curated by D Double E of Newham Generals, Rhymeantics celebrated some of our generation’s true storytellers, with outstanding a cappella rhymes pouring forth in an electric atmosphere from artists such as AJ Tracey, Jamms, Footsie, Ocean Wisdom, Tommy Genesis and more – RBMA was on hand to capture the best of these moments of lyrical skill....
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A man of many monikers, UK producer and DJ Matt Edwards has gone by Matthew E, Rekid and Radio Slave as a solo artist, and as Quiet Village and Sea Devils in collaboration, but he's best known for his extensive remix work and running of the Rekids label. From remixing Kylie Minogue to bringing Nina Kraviz to the world, Edwards is as much a talent as a talent-spotter in the world of dance music. How does he do it? Find out in this talk at the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy. TOPICS: 04:50 - Rekid...
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Wheedle’s Groove takes you straight into Seattle’s blossoming funk and soul scene of the late ’60s and early ’70s. At the time, there were over 20 live music clubs specializing in funk and soul and even more bands with big afros and crazy spacesuits, releasing 45 after 45. Most of these releases are still sought after by cratediggers today. Before teaming up on Wheedle's Groove, Robert Nesbitt spent his early days as a disc jockey at KYAC while Tony Gable played in the funk band Cold,...
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Watch The Junction: An animated series of creative encounters. Too many cooks in the kitchen can ruin any well-intentioned cookout. But when you have talented young chefs like Kaytranada and River Tiber, your musical taste buds are in for a treat. The two Canadians bonded over a shared love for Brazilian music, but it’s their own distinct flavors that make the results of their collaboration so potent. Hamish Lambert illustrates this curious and open-minded pairing with his crayon drawings,...
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Jamaica's Jeremy Harding, leading exponent of dancefloor riddims, unloads a wealth of knowledge and experience in this riveting talk at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy. From playing house music on Canadian radio, Harding went on to discover Sean Paul and work in the studio with Sly & Robbie. His cool, calm and collected approach combined with his infinite passion for music of all styles will teleport you out of the studio and off to an island sunset for two hours. TOPICS: 01:24 - Musical...
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It’s a wonder there aren’t statues in honor of Melvin van Peebles. He is a true pioneer in an extraordinary array of fields – the first black movie director of the modern age, one of the first people to talk over music and, thus, a progenitor of hip-hop – at one time, he even managed to become the only black trader on the American Stock Exchange. In his lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy, he told us all about his incredible life in film and music, from sleeping on park benches...
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In his spatial composition “Spring in the 4Dimensional Gardens” we hear a diffusion of the sounds, meaning sounds never come from one point only but from a wide field of reflections smeared across the space. To achieve this, Murcof applies multiple spatial sound techniques. He places multiple reflective walls on all sides of the space at different distances, creating a dense surrounding field of unequal reflections of the sounds in the space. One can almost start to hear the reverbs within...
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Since its inception in 1989, Warp Records has become one of England’s most influential and respected modern record labels. Founded in Sheffield by Steve Beckett and the late Rob Mitchell, Warp tapped into the raw power of acid house and rave to fashion a distinctive visual and sonic aesthetic that attracted local, national and international talent and interest. With the release of the Artificial Intelligence compilation and album series in 1992 Warp began its second phase, fashioning new...
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Electro Zajal is a new RBMA documentary series exploring the marriage of zajal, a traditional form of performance poetry, with contemporary musical styles in Beirut, bringing together a master practitioner of zajal and six Lebanese electronic producers. Zajal is a form of semi-improvised, semi-sung poetry that dates to the 12th century. Despite its ancient, far-flung origins, however, zajal remains a vital tradition in modern Lebanon, with the poets, also known as zajalists, attaining high...
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In the spatial re-interpretation of “Mentally Induced Action,” Mulero created a fizzing orchestra of subtly shifting delays by sending the main pad, hats and cymbals to reflect onto two different constellations of walls, visualized by the red and green surfaces. The main pad circles vertically around the space and reflects onto the red wall on the far left, creating a distinct single delay of the direct sound coming from one side. The hats and cymbals – the static blue plane on the right...
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Enrico Civellaro started the Archive label in 1998 after finding inspiration from the records of Carl Craig and Kirk Degiorgio (and the table tennis tables of the Reinforced Records office). Hanging out with dance music mavericks like Dego and Domu, Enrico began putting out collector-friendly records by Nubian Mindz, Nu Era, Theo Parrish, Opaque and others. A hook-up with a reggae soundsystem in Milan meant Enrico could also throw parties, and invite friends like Ian O' Brien and Titonton...
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Chuck D needs no introduction. As the lead voice of Public Enemy, he has repeatedly made hip-hop history and possesses one of the best-known voices in the genre. In this extended lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona, he talked about the making of the seminal album It Takes a Nation of Million to Hold Us Back, his path to fame, the changing nature of the music industry, politics, art, and plenty more. TOPICS: 1:06 – Musical foundation 17:23 – Early hip-hop 36:44 – The...
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As part of the Red Bull Music Academy World Tour in 2011, five hip-hop legends took the couch over five days, discussing five classic albums from five boroughs. At night, the artists re-create their seminal work for a special concert, bridging the gap from old to new school. In their conversation with Ego Trip co-founder Sacha Jenkins, Mobb Deep proudly repped Queensbridge and discussed making their classic album, The Infamous, as well as the Dunn language and their lasting influence. TOPICS:...
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For this special session during the 2003 Red Bull Music Academy, Bugz In The Attic's Seiji and the one like Steinski team up for a little chatter about Pro Tools, Cubase, and equipment vs soul. Press play for some serious double trouble, for real. TOPICS: 00:19 Studio setup 01:45 Upgrade issues 03:50 "The New Thing" 10:14 Learn what you got 13:18 Before software 16:09 Limitations The Red Bull Music Academy is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. We...
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Blu & Exile have fingers in so many pies, it’s a full-time job keeping up. But beyond their collaborations, solo projects and plans for the future, there’s the *Below The Heavens* album, an already classic slab of noughties hip-hop that emerged in 2007 to universal acclaim. In a hip-hop landscape beset by mediocrity, these two are making some of the most innovative music around. In their lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy, the duo discussed how they hooked up in the L.A...
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Theo Parrish is a true sonic architect – an artist whose work fuses the disco-based pulse of Chicago house with the mechanised soul of Detroit techno and the improvisational drive of jazz. In his words, “Jazz spawned house music, jazz spawned hip-hop, jazz spawned funk and they all reflect back into that.” This talk at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle, sees him exploring the deepest roots of contemporary dance music and revealing his own creative motivations. TOPICS: 00:39 -...
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As West African music burrows ever deeper into the global consciousness, so awareness of its history grows. Ghana’s ‘70s highlife scene ran alongside, and was influenced by, Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat, resting on the supreme talents of Ebo Taylor and Gyedu-Blay Ambolley. Still active in his sixties, Gyedu goes back to the ‘60s, when his ears pricked to the Voice Of America’s Jazz Hour shows and the post-independence sounds of his own country, spearheaded by the legendary Kwame Nkrumah....
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In this lecture at the 2011 Red Bull Music Academy, Paul Riser relives the glory days of low pay at Motown, explains why string players are the most disciplined and refuses to show any love for electronic music. Paul Riser has supplied the “sweetenings” for some of the most famous music ever made. As in-house arranger at Motown, his work adorns classics from “My Girl” to “Rocket Love” – not bad for someone who started off hating R&B. With his classical background and strict...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
by Red Bull Music Academy
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Classically trained but equally inspired by electronic music, Francesco Tristano is on a journey that’s rendering the distinction between the two all but irrelevant. As a pianist who regards his instrument as a piece of percussion, it’snot surprising that his head was turned by the New York nightlife while studying at the prestigious Juilliard School. In 2011 Red Bull Music Academy lecture he goes in depth about his transition and why he sees no difference between the two forms, how he came...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
by Red Bull Music Academy
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DJ Radar is probably best known for his awe-inspiring cuts and boundary breaking turntablist records. On collaborations such as Private Parts with DJ Z-Trip (from the era-defining Return Of The DJ compilations) through to his work on the Deep Concentration series, Radar has consistently pushed the limits of turntable music, incorporating sounds, samples and influences that aren't necessarily thought of as staple hip-hop sources. From there he began collaborating with kindred spirits such as...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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If there’s a sound you associate with the 1980s Berlin underground, then there’s a good chance Gareth Jones and Alexander Hacke had a hand in it. Hacke joined the toweringly influential Einstürzende Neubauten shortly after the band’s formation in 1980. He was only 15 years old and already a member of cult favorites such as Sentimentale Jugend and Mona Mur & die Mieter. Jones for his part worked as producer and mixing engineer at the iconic Hansa Tonstudio, adding an industrial edge...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
by Red Bull Music Academy
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When you meet him in daylight, dBridge is a calm and laidback fellow but at night he turns out to be the producer behind some of the grittiest and grimiest tunes in drum & bass. Based in London, dBridge helped give birth to the scene in the ‘90s with a couple of seminal jungle classics, while as a DJ at the legendary Metalheadz sessions and as part of production crew Bad Company he learned to appreciate the best of both worlds. A pioneer who has stayed true to the culture while others...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
by Red Bull Music Academy
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Few people have the same amount of soul as Daptone label boss Gabriel Roth. Started on a shoestring, with its headquarters and House of Soul studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this venerable imprint takes a distinctly analog approach to its art. Over the years, its roster of artists – including the late Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley – have gone from cult curiosities to genuinely global soul stars. In this lecture for the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy, Roth reveals his idiosyncratic recording...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
by Red Bull Music Academy
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Vince Degiorgio may have been around the music industry for as long as most of us can remember, but he still talks tunes with the infectious zeal of a kid in a record store. A disco DJ in Toronto clubs during the heyday of the genre in the ’70s, he spent his days spinning vinyl, working in a record store and gathering the skills which would later make him a hit-maker, songwriter, A&R guru and music publisher. The corporate years of his career included stints at BMG in Canada and RCA in...
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