Japanese inventor Ikutaro Kakehashi has passed away at the age of 87, according to a Facebook post from Saturday (April 1) made by colleague Tommy Snyder, who was a former advisor for Roland Corporation.

As the founder of the Roland electronics brand, Kakehashi is responsible for creating the iconic TR-808 drum machine, which featured sounds like the cowbell and snare hit, and changed the way music could be made forever. From Kraftwerk and Egyptian Lover, to Kanye West and Marvin Gaye, countless artists embraced the powerful beat-making machine to craft some of their most memorable hits. Without it, electro likely wouldn’t exist, while its influence on Hip Hop initially helped shape the culture with songs like 1982’s “Planet Rock.”

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 12.07.02 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-02 at 12.07.02 PM

Kakehashi was also considered the godfather of the MIDI, a digital interface that allowed other machines to “talk” to each other, and is responsible for the Jupiter 8, TR-909 and TB-303.

“I myself don’t know where I’d be without Ikutaro Kakehashi’s creations of the Roland TR-808 and Jupiter 8,” Egyptian Lover tells HipHopDX. “These machines

Read more…