Ikutaro Kakehashi (1930 - 2017)

Ikutaro Kakehashi (1930 - 2017)

Ikutaro Kakehashi (1930 - 2017)

"Music literally would not be what it is today without Mr. Kakehashi", said Steven Fisher, now at Yamaha and a former employee at Roland, who worked with Mr. Kakehashi on electronic percussion and drum products.

Tommy Synder, who works at Roland as a developer, gave an emotional tribute on Facebook, saying he considered Kakehashi "as my 2nd father". The Roland Corporation produced many types of drum machines, including the Roland CR-78 and the iconic Roland TR-808. Kakehashi founded Roland in 1972, and the company's first product was the rhythm machine.

Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Japanese electronic musical instrument maker Roland which defined much of the sound of 1980s pop, has died aged 87.

Ikutaro Kakehashi was born on February 7, 1930. "Thanks for the Electro sounds". Only 12,000 TR-808 Rhythm Composer units were made because as semiconductor manufacturing improved, the distinctively defective transistor became unavailable. The device was popularized by early hits such as Marvin Gaye's hit Sexual Healing (1982) and Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force's groundbreaking Planet Rock (1982).

Arguably his most famous drum machine was the iconic TR-808, which was used by hip-hop groups including the Beastie Boys, Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and Public Enemy.

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In 2008, rapper and producer Kanye West solidified his love of the drum machine on his experimental and influential record, 808s & Heartbreak.

Kakehashi shared the Technical Grammy Award with Dave Smith in 2013 for contributions to electronic music technology.

Numerous members of the music world have taken to Twitter to pay their respects, including Hudson Mohawke, Vince Staples, Darude and The Black Madonna among others.

"The options have widened", Kakehashi said of electronic music at a Roland seminar in 2012.

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