Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi died at age 87 yesterday.
The Japanese engineer and music visionary created instruments that changed the music game, including many drum machines and the iconic TR-808. Without this amazing, versatile instrument, we might not have ever heard Marvin Gaye‘s “Sexual Healing,” Kanye West‘s entire album 808s & Heartbreak, and certainly not Bassnectar‘s “The 808 Track.”
The work of Kakehashi shaped the sound of electronic, hip hop, and other genres as we hear them today. He also received a Technical Grammy Award in 2013 for his role in the development of MIDI, an essential tool for producers.
Many artists took to social media to pay respects to this man who changed music forever.
RIP Ikutaro Kakehashi (1930 – 2017)
RIP Ikutaro Kakehashi of Roland. The man responsible for the 101, 303, 808, 909 and many other beloved machines we use to make our music.
— erol alkan (@erolalkan) April 1, 2017
— Darude (@Darudevil) April 2, 2017
Imagine there'd never bn a 808 909 101 303 etc. Wud all b stuck listening to guitars. (How many can I offend) RIP Roland's Ikutaro Kakehashi
— Hudson Mohawke (@HudMo) April 1, 2017
A Japanese man invented the 808. He died yesterday pay your respects.
— Vince Staples (@vincestaples) April 2, 2017
Rest in bass my friend Ikutaro Kakehashi! Another example of not judging a book by its cover! This man invented the fuggin 808 open ur minds pic.twitter.com/ob7L7VMfWM
— G L K (@GASLAMPKILLER) April 2, 2017