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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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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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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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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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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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
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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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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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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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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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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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If there’s a Seattle sound, then it's the sound that was powered by Sub Pop. Known to the world as grunge, it turned the sleepy north-western city into the epicenter of guitar music for years, and gave the rock world one of its most enduring icons in Kurt Cobain. In conversation at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy, Sub Pop's Carly Starr, Mark Arm and Megan Jasper tell us about the label’s growth and the city’s transition, of the storm that was whipping up around them and how they survived...
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The duo of Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins emerged from the effervescent Los Angeles underground of the 2000s, kindred spirits to the sampledelia of Madlib and spirituality of Carlos Niño. Cutting their teeth with the various labels and at the small happenings around LA, the pair developed their own mystic hip-hop brew informed by America’s rich black traditions – Muldrow’s parents recorded as Chemise – and welded together with samplers, keys and microphones. In this lecture at...
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If anyone embodies the spirit and eclecticism of Ann Arbor’s Ghostly International and Spectral Sound labels, it’s Tadd Mullinix. Since first taking to music in his teens, the Michigan-native has developed a chameleon-like ability to shift between genres and styles while maintaining an understanding of what makes people react and move: hip-hop as Dabrye, house and techno as JTC, experimental electronic under his birth name, EBM as Charles Manier and all-out ragga jungle as SK-1 alongside...
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Chaz Bundick, AKA Toro y Moi, sat down with Shawn Reynaldo for this 2012 Red Bull Music Academy Session in Phoenix. In this hour-long conversation, the Columbia, S.C. native touched on everything from gear to touring, to music journalists’ desperate attempts to describe his unique sound. TOPICS: 5:25 – The start of Toro y Moi 8:40 – Outside attempts to define the genre 12:39 – Writing and rewriting for a band setup 23:31 – Les Sins, Chaz's side project 26:46 – The role of...
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Alice Russell grew up in Suffolk where, following in her father’s musical footsteps, she studied cello and sang in choirs. In 1994, she moved to Brighton to study art and music and made a home on the seaside digging past her classical training into the world of gospel and soul. By the early 2000s, she started singing and collaborating with local musicians including Quantic and Nostalgia 77. Eventually she signed with Brighton’s Tru Thoughts label in 2004 and established herself as a soul...
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Although he initially made his name in the British jazz scene, Malcolm Cecil was a key figure in the development of the synthesizer and his best-known work was made in collaboration with soul legends. After playing bass in a series of ’50s and ’60s jazz bands, Cecil was a founding member of Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. But it was the possibilities provided by synthesizers that really excited him, and with Bob Margouleff he formed T.O.N.T.O.’s Expanding Head Band, releasing two...
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Maurice Fulton’s productions have been key to the growth of house music worldwide, both as a solo artist and tireless collaborator. In his lecture at the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy, Fulton went in-depth on his life and work giving a special insight into how house has captured a global imagination. TOPICS: 02:49 - Learning to DJ 07:55 - New York dance culture 24:49 - Sampling 28:42 - DJing vs. producing 33:17 - Tony Humphries MUSIC: 10:08 - Mutsumi - "No More Fake Tits"...
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John Dent’s mastering credits include seminal albums by Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Motörhead, the Stranglers and a whole lot more. Key to his approach is a life-long dedication to sound, sonics and music. His mastering studio is an extension of his ears, creating an environment that allows him to recognize the equipment used on a recording, from the workstation to the length of the cables. In his lecture at the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy, Dent gave his own answer to the question of why...
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Growing up in East Berlin before the fall of the wall meant having access to a different reality. This didn’t deter a young Alex Barck who despite his situation devoured all he could about music from magazines to radio shows by Monika Dietel on SFB. This childhood obsession would become a lifelong journey after the wall fell and a teenage Barck found himself in the heart of one of the most influential cities and scenes on earth. An avid record collector, he soon became known as an eclectic DJ...
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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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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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Electronic music didn’t start with Eno, but it was certainly never the same after him. On Roxy Music’s first two albums he helped make synthesizers and tape effects part of a rock lineup, pricking the ears of future synth-pop creators such as Human League. As a solo artist he forged a new genre, which he dubbed ambient music, before effectively becoming a one-man genre himself, lending touches to Genesis (where he’s credited with “Enossification”), John Cale, and Bowie during his...
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As an engineer, mixer and record producer, Sylvia Massy has left her mark on three decades of music. Moving to Los Angeles in the late ’80s, Massy began her career at Larrabee Sound, where she recorded the debut EP and LP of metal icons Tool. While there she also befriended Rick Rubin, with whom she collaborated on a string of albums after moving to Sound City’s Studio B. It was at Sound City that Massy became known for creating a signature sound, with special equipment and a vintage Neve...
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These days, the world’s top rap artists come calling for DJ Toomp’s trademark drum patterns. Naturally, it wasn’t always so. Behind the Atlanta producer’s extraordinary achievements is a history of record collecting, machine manipulation and self-education, a kind of holy trinity for durability in the game. Keen to impress the importance of learning about the business side of music, Toomp is proof that it’s not just skills that pay the bills – feeding your head about the nuts and...
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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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In his own words, James Pants is a crate-digging nerd, who is uncomfortable with irony and was fortunate enough to be discovered by hip-hop maverick Peanut Butter Wolf. Since linking with the Stones Throw crew, he has been knitting all kinds of hard-to-find music into his lo-fi beats, from funk, disco and electro boogie to lounge and weirdo electronica. In his 2008 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, Pants discussed signing with Stones Throw, his approach to DJing, and his thoughts on irony in...
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With the kind of reputation that strikes fear in the heart of anyone entering a “name the rare breaks” battle, Gerald ‘Jazzman’ Short has been running his online store and reissue label, Jazzman Records, for over a decade. Specializing in obscure U.S. music from the ‘60s onwards, he has researched and tracked down many slept-on tracks and the musicians that made them. The cratedigging addict speaks with Benji B at the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy about the process of uncovering...
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Since 1993, San Francisco-based Ubiquity and its sister labels Luv'n Haight and CuBop have been responsible for quality releases through a wide range of genres from old school jazz and funk to modern electronic music of almost virtually any style. One of the people responsible for his, as head of A&R for Ubiquity's cutting repertoire, is London-native Andrew Jervis, who at a whim moved to the Bay Area 15 years ago and got involved in the Ubiquity empire since the day he got there. Sit down...
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Rarely will an RBMA lecture have contained so many references to jazz greats – and even more rarely will we have been in the presence of someone who has played with most all of them. Gary Bartz is an outstanding musician with an astonishing career. Whether live or studio-based, his musical output is defined by artistic progression at every turn. In his 2008 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, Bartz discussed the essence of folk music, different ways of listening to music, his thoughts on funk,...
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Born and raised across the River Mersey from Liverpool, Greg Wilson is one of the original DJs who introduced British club audiences to the revolutionary dance music sounds coming out of New York City: disco, electro-funk and hip hop. A resident at Manchester’s legendary Haçienda, he retired at an early age in 1984, but has returned to the decks since and received the hero's welcome befitting his role in the history of dance music. Along the way, he introduced a whole new generation of...
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The cornerstone and pioneer of UK techno, Kirk DeGiorgio has been tirelessly delivering the original message of Detroit techno, born out of a city renowned for its soul music and its factories. In this lecture at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy, Kirk takes us on his journey of discovery: Listening to his aunt's soul records, reading Echoes, working in record shops, taking a trip to Chicago and finally arriving at the Metroplex hub in Detroit, learning how Derrick May, Shake Shakir and Juan...
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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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Sonicist, composer, biologist, Francisco López leads an enviable life, travelling the world and recording everything from rainforests to the big buildings of New York. With his roots in industrial music, he’s built his career on intuition rather than formal training. At the 2011 Red Bull Music Academy he talks in depth about why he likes to blindfold the audience, his abhorrence of physical objects, why he sees no gain in titles and how, slowly, the experimental music establishment has come...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Tim van Berkestijn was born in 1977, the year that the Brother Johnson's version of "Strawberry Letter 23" went to number 1 and Chet Baker released "Autumn Leaves" and "Far Away" (with Astrud Gilberto). Tim's parents were hip to all of it, not forgetting the Carpenters. Little did they know that 27 years later, their son would come full circle and re-invent himself as Benny Sings to debut his own version of incandescent pop in major keys. Lush, swinging...
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In his 2013 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, Richie Hawtin reflected on making trips to Derrick May’s house, founding Plus 8, throwing parties, and more. Richie Hawtin has always pushed the envelope: he started Plus 8 Records with John Acquaviva at the turn of the '90s, formed the M-nus empire, and developed Final Scratch. His works under the F.U.S.E. guise, the delicious desolation of Plastikman, countless remixes, and his groundbreaking works with the Concept series and the Decks, EFX &...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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If there ever was a DJ/producer/engineer that deserved a monograph, it is probably François Kevorkian. After moving to New York in 1975, his influential disco edits and medleys landed him an A&R job at Prelude where he helped define the dance-music zeitgeist. As a DJ, he continued to work at seminal clubs like Studio 54, The Loft, and the Paradise Garage. By the mid-’80s, François K had become an in-demand studio hand (just ask Yazoo, U2, the Cure, Diana Ross, Kraftwerk, and Depeche...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Celestial bluesman Gary Bartz caught up with Jefferson “Chairman” Mao after a performance the night before featuring former Academy participant Aloe Blacc and singer Bilal. The session took place during the Red Bull Music Academy’s ‘New York City To the SF Bay’ lecture series in San Francisco. Bartz discussed everything from playing with music’s greats to why he doesn’t like the J-word. TOPICS: 8:00 – The J-word 15:00 – New York in the early-60s 27:00 – Becoming a band...
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Michelle Lewis-King creates bespoke sonic compositions by utilizing Chinese pulse diagnostics to read the interior cosmological landscape of another person. She then interprets the pulse reading of the subjects into sound movements flowing through space, turning the interior world of the body into an exterior landscape of sound. Following the tradition of Chinese medicine, the inner organs are represented by five elements (fire, water, metal, earth, wood). These elements are sonically sculpted...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Wayne Goodlit’s brand of UK street music is characterized by its stabbing drums and surging sub-bass. Starting out as a bedroom MC, it took a switch to production for his his name to truly ring out. Numerous remixes, including one of the Zed Bias classic "Neighbourhood", plus a string of releases on his Roska Kicks & Snares label cemented his position at the vanguard of the UK funky scene. In this lecture at the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy, he discusses his funky productions,...
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Hailing from Lisbon, Buraka Som Sistema took hip-hop, techno, zouk from the Carribean and kuduro from Angola to fashion an irresistible dance music sound that quickly wooed anyone who heard it. Beginning in the early 2000s, Branko, DJ Riot, Conductor and Kalaf Angelo collaborated with local Portugues and Angolan artists before arriving at their kuduro distillation right as the global bass idea was taking hold across music blogs, dancefloors and festival stages. They soon attracted international...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Michelle Lewis-King creates bespoke sonic compositions by utilizing Chinese pulse diagnostics to read the interior cosmological landscape of another person. She then interprets the pulse reading of the subjects into sound movements flowing through space, turning the interior world of the body into an exterior landscape of sound. Following the tradition of Chinese medicine, the inner organs are represented by five elements (fire, water, metal, earth, wood). These elements are sonically sculpted...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Barcelona boy John Talabot had an unusual entry to music. Just as he heard weird techno records before rock’s great building-block bands, it took a broken turntable to make him realise what was missing in dance music – and why he needed to fill that gap himself. Having broken through with "Sunshine," he’s remixed the likes of The xx and has finally recorded his debut album. In this talk at the 2011 Red Bull Music Academy, Talabot steps out from behind the mask to explain why...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Everyone who lives in Montreal is super nice, even the local politicians, but Deadbeat is just that bit nicer. If you make it out to the annual Mutek festival you'll see what we mean. Anyway, Scott Monteith, aka Deadbeat, makes his own type of dub-laden, minimal-leaning electronics on several labels but has also been known to dress up like a farm hand and charge around a stage in the mighty two-man electronic barndance ensemble known as Crackhaus with good friend Steve Beaupre. Monteith talks...
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Carsten Nicolai, AKA Alva Noto, is a man who deals in sound and vision. With his label Raster-Noton he’s forged a minimal aesthetic and a conceptual approach to his art that fits his eerie electronica. In his 2011 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, he talks about the differences between sounds and music, the physical impact of different ranges, his upbringing in the old East Germany, and his work with Ryuichi Sakamoto. TOPICS: 0:29 Sounds vs music 11:41 Unitxt and Univrs 14:11 Granular synthesis...
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Don't be surprised to learn that George Michael and Madness played a role in kicking off Sway's career in grime. A club kid from the UK, Sway built a well respected mixtape empire within the Empire before releasing his humbly entitled debut album This Is My Demo, picking up countless awards along the way. According to him, his success is comes from an extensive knowledge of self, and more importantly, from ignoring all musical boundaries. In this talk at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy in...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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The Australian band Architecture In Helsinki first came together as a high-school project in Albury, New South Wales. In 1999 the trio of Cameron Bird, Jamie Mildren and Sam Perry moved to Melbourne and within a year had become a quintet with the addition of James Cecil on drums and Kellie Sutherland on clarinet. The band further expanded to eight member for their 2003 debut album Fingers Crossed, which introduced to the world an unconventional collective with an unconventional sound, rooted in...
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This video is part of Red Bull 20 Before 17, a look back at Red Bull’s year in music through its 20 biggest moments. Check out the other exclusive videos, tracks and interactive experiences at www.redbull.com/20before17 Korean Red Bull Music Academy alumna Miso Kim finally took to the international stage this year. Red Bull produly presents her brand-new song and music video. A collaboration with the London and Tel Aviv based animation director / visual artist Sivan Kidron, this video is a...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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On Sunday October 15, 2017, Red Bull Music Academy and Ryoji Ikeda presented the world’s largest synth orchestra. The project brought together 100 car owners from the Los Angeles area, who performed the piece by playing their car soundsystems via a sine wave synthesizer that Ikeda developed in collaboration with RBMA’s Tatsuya Takahashi and Berlin-based firm E-RM Erfindungsbüro. The Red Bull Music Academy is a global music institution committed to fostering creativity in music. We...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Emmanuel Jagari Chanda was the leader of WITCH (We Intend To Cause Havoc), which was a prime mover in Zamrock, a hard-edged amalgamation of the Rolling Stones, funk and African rhythms. Today, he is one of the few survivors of the largely undocumented Zamrock scene. In this rare public conversation at the 2011 Red Bull Music Academy, he discusses both the whole scene and his own group’s circumstances, including the reality of making music on a shoestring and why regional turmoil and the...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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One of the pioneers of the acid jazz sound, and member of the seminal production outfit United Future Organisation, Toshio Matsuura has been a driving force on the Japanese music scene for two decades. These days, he works on a solo tip: most notably on a James Brown remix that turned more than just a few heads. In this lecture at the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy, Matsuura joins Gerd Janson to dive into his fascinating work. TOPICS: 07:45 - Dingwalls 13:17 - United Future Organisation 18:45 -...
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Uncompromising, ever-changing and always intriguing – that’s Mike Paradinas in a nutshell. Producing innovative and idiosyncratic music since the early 1990s, he has recorded under aliases, including μ-Ziq, Tusken Raiders, Kid Spatula and Jake Slazenger. His work – which takes in everything from hazy pop to breakcore – has been released by Virgin, Clear and Rephlex, and now he heads up his own eclectic and highly respected imprint, Planet Mu. In this lecture at the 2006 Red Bull Music...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Clare Fischer may not be a household name, but to the cognoscenti it rings loud and true. He began his career in L.A. in the late '50s as a keyboardist, composer, bandleader and arranger and has worked with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Prince and Celine Dion. In this freewheeling session at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy, he and his son Brent explain all about arranging and reveal why you should never listen to producers or record labels. TOPICS: 15:01 - Latin music 18:42 - Electronic...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Hamburg may not be the most famous techno city in Germany, but it was the birthplace for Dial Records, which continues to delight devotees of the less-is-more school of electronica. Efdemin is a crucial component of the label’s nucleus, whose involvement eventually led him to move to Berlin. In this lecture at the 2007 Red Bull Music Academy Efdemin explained how he first got involved in making music, how his first track bridged the old to the new and why despite Berlin being so “ugly” he...
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Jimmy Douglass actually commenced his studio career while still attending high school, securing a job as a tape duplicator/editor at the Atlantic Records facility in New York. There he was able to observe legendary figures such as Tom Dowd, Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin apply their skills to some now-historic recordings. Not a bad education for a novice. During the studio's downtime he also taught himself how to work the custom-made 16-channel console. What's more, when Douglass asked Wexler if...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Brian Cross first encountered hip-hop in the early '80s, a meeting that sealed a lifelong love affair between the music, the culture and the young Irish photographer. Cross eventually moved to Los Angeles for post-graduate studies. One of his professors was the influential author of City Of Quartz, Mike Davies. Davies encouraged Brian to combine his love of hip-hop culture, photography and politics. This led to It's Not About A Salary - Rap And Resistance In L.A., one of the earliest published...
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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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Stuart Hawkes is a mastering engineer at London’s Metropolis where he has lent his ears to shaping records from Amy Winehouse to Katy B, Disclosure to Craig David. It’s the finishing touches Hawkes bring which make the songs people come to love stand out. In his lecture at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy, Hawkes walked the audience through the technical hoops of audio technology and shed some light on what happens at the end of the music-making process. TOPICS: 7:35 - What mastering is...
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Sebastian Niessen was the synthesizer engineer for Kraftwerk, playing an integral part in crafting the sounds that became an influence on the hip-hop and dance music you hear today. After Kraftwerk, Sebastian continued to work as a sound engineer, moving to NYC in 1984 where he worked on soundtracks for Raising Arizona and Barton Fink. As he explains during this lecture at the 2003 Red Bull Music Academy, he continues to design instruments and modify synthesizers and has helped many of...
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Philip Owusu and Robin Hannibal are a Danish production and songwriting duo whose 2006 debut album, Living With…, turned a lot of heads and pricked a lot of ears. Originally from Copenhagen, the pair celebrated both their Danish heritage and America’s soul music on the album, which landed them with Ubiquity Records. In this lecture at the 2007 Red Bull Music Academy, Owusu and Hannibal sat down to discuss Living With…, who does what and the best places to capture vocals. TOPICS: 01:40 -...
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Perhaps the slickest funk/soul group of the mid-’80s and one of the UK’s finest musical exports, Loose Ends and Carl McIntosh weren’t just the bomb in ‘85 - they’ve gone on to influence countless of today’s dance producers and DJs around the world. As well as penning the timeless “Hangin’ On A String,” Carl has crafted keyboard and guitar chops for soul supremos like D’Angelo, Beverly Knight, Caron Wheeler and Leon Ware as well as Pete Rock. A master of songwriting and...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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His real name is Michael Jackson, but he’s no relation to the moonwalking King of Pop. Still, Oh No has carved out an enviable beat-making career and does have a sibling who’s big in the industry: his brother, Stones Throw mainstay Madlib. Oh No’s own trademark, raw and stuttering flips have formed the backdrop to many an underground anthem for artists such as Declaime, Cornbread and his good friend from Oxnard, California, Roc C. In this lecture at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy in...
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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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Larry Heard truly put the “deep” into house music. Responsible for dancefloor classics such as Mr. Fingers’ seminal “Can You Feel It” and Robert Owens’ “Bring Down The Walls,” his work sits at the very foundations of the genre. In this lecture at Red Bull Music Academy Seattle 2005, Heard talks about swapping drums for drum machines, the Chicago club scene of the 1980s and his little-known forays into hip-hop production. TOPICS: 2:18 - Larry's first record 10:18 - Mystery Of...
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Qua is Cornel Wilczek, a Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist. In addition to releasing two full length artist albums of his own under the Qua moniker, Cornel has engineered and produced a multitude of acts. And, as he discusses in his lecture at the 2006 Red Bull Music Academy in Melbourne, he's also been involved with art installations and become gently engulfed with his day job, designing sound for ads and films and producing wonderful closed-eyes movie soundtracks of burbling acoustic...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Bob Moog changed the face of popular music by producing the first ever commercially available synthesizers. The first Moog Modular was knocked up for fun as a project for his musician friend Herbert Deutsch. But pretty soon, after the first strains of synthesizer success by Walter/Wendy Carlos, the Moog stole its way into the heart of rock and jazz fusion, and helped instigate all types of electronic music. Though he may have left us for a higher plane, as we found out at the 2003 Red Bull...
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Alongside long-time collaborator Drake, Boi-1da pointed hip-hop into new directions at the end of the 2000s with hits like “Forever” and “Best I Ever Had.” To say it all went fast from there would be a massive understatement. Not only did Boi-1da help shape a new sound for Toronto and Canadian hip-hop, he has had his hands in everything from major projects like Eminem’s Recovery and Relapse (including the Grammy-winning “Not Afraid”), Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, and Meek Mill to...
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Joseph Junior Adenuga AKA Skepta never wanted to be an MC, but in the end it proved to be where he was most comfortable. Growing up in London in a Nigerian household alongside his brother JME, Skepta began as a DJ before moving behind the mic as his brother made his way into the grime scene. Following some work with the Medirian and Roll Deep crews, Skepta and JME founded Boy Better Know and in a few years found themselves travelling around the world on the back of mixtapes, performances and...
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By hip-hop standards, Nottz is something of a recluse, preferring to stay out of the limelight and let his beats do the talking. The Norfolk, Virginia native got his start in the late ’90s rap underground with beats for the _Lyricist Lounge_ compilation and Busta Rhyme’s _Extinction Level Event_ album. From there he quietly continued his ascension into the ranks of hip-hop’s most versatile producers with beats for Snoop Dogg, Kanye West and the late J Dilla’s shelved MCA album. In this...
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Bobbito Garcia is a radio host, filmmaker and basketball enthusiast whose voice and passion guided an entire generation. As one half of The Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show, broadcasted out of Columbia University’s WKCR weekly between 1990 and 1998, Bobbito helped to launch the careers of hip-hop legends like Nas, the Notorious BIG, Jay Z and Big Pun. But while the man also known as Kool Bob Love is often remembered for his contributions to hip-hop culture, his reputation goes beyond: He...
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DJ Harvey’s influence in the dance world is all out of proportion to his own fame. Known to some as the bloke who played early hours at Ministry Of Sound and to others as the driving force behind the Black Cock re-edit label and Map of Africa, he's a cult icon to the crowd who look back on the disco era as the birth of dance. He was also an early exponent of the balearic sound, which has taken him from Ibiza to Venice Beach and beyond. In conversation at the 2005 Red Bull Music Academy,...
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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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Jeremy Greenspan got his start in Hamilton, where in 1999 he founded Junior Boys with Johnny Dark, an electronic pop duo that took inspiration from the vastness of their surroundings, house and techno and the small moments of emotion in everyday life. The pair spent years working out of their bedroom, collaborating and making demos but seemingly getting nowhere. It was after Dark had left the band in 2002 that their demo was eventually heard by KIN Records and the Junior Boys officially debuted...
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Glasgow's Alex Smoke is someone you always thought would do something good, then suddenly he seemed to write two classic techno albums overnight. The Detroit-based, Euro-sounding 4/4 stuff he makes is assured and impressive. With the backing of Soma Records, Smoke has been making a name for himself among techno's most established producers with strong efforts like his 2005 debut, Incommunicado and a slew of remixes for the likes of Pete Tong, Depeche Mode, Junior Boys, and Steve Reich. In this...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Legendary producer DJ Premier talked about Guru, Nas, Jay-Z, digging for samples, working with Christina Aguilera and eating KFC with a naked Notorious B.I.G. in his RBMA Toronto 2007 Lecture. #hiphop #RBMA TOPICS: 5:29 - Early hip-hop 26:31 - Forming Gang Starr 50:54 - The Premier sound 56:28 - Production technique 1:08:54 - Nas, Jay-Z and B.I.G. 1:17:03 - Longevity MUSIC: 36:00 - Gang Starr - “Words I Manifest” (Remix) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qiTIW38DuM 57:22 - Gang Starr –...
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Arturo Lanz abandoned a career in pop music for one of uncompromising industrial – or repetitive meditation music, as he would put it – as Esplendor Geométrico in the early years of post-Franco Spain. Looking to Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, he forged a sound that his compatriots didn’t get, but which made him something of a cult figure decades later, when a track was revived for the Minimal Wave Vol 1 compilation. Now living and working in Beijing, he divides his free time...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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Hailing from Durham, North Carolina Little Brother heralded a new wave of early 2000s rap acts with a clear debt to the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy and De La Soul whom they saw as big brothers to their own musical aspirations. Composed of producer 9th Wonder and rappers Big Pooh and Phonte, the group’s 2003 debut album, The Listening, instantly put them on the map just as a different kind of Southern hip-hop sound was rising to dominance. Soon after the group moved from the...
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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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Red Bull Music Academy: The Mirror
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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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