Legends of Synthesis: J Dilla and the MPC

When it comes to music synthesis, one of the most recent to stand out as a giant of innovation is Detroit hip-hop producer J Dilla. James Dewitt Yancey. Dilla produced music for Erykah Badu, The Roots, Common, De La Soul, and many more. He was also a part of Slum Village, who made what some consider one of the greatest hip-hop records — Fantastic Vol. 2:

So when Red Bull Music Academy shared this video (“He used the MPC like Jimi Hendrix used the guitar”) via the folks at @voxdotcom, it sort of broke the internet.

As the first comment puts it: “Imagine what Dilla could have done with Ableton and a Push 2.” Indeed.

Who is Robert Hood?

For those unfamiliar with the techno icon who is playing the 13th Anniversary of Make It New this week, it quite impossible to sum up his career, but this Resident Advisor interview from 2014 (by one-time Boston resident, and Make It New guest DJ, Will Lynch), does a pretty good job.

It’s my goal and my life’s ambition and my vision to give, to bring water and bring food to all who want to listen.

The icon speaks very highly of the music of his parents, the sounds of Pac Man, and the famous Detroit radio DJ, the Electrifying Mojo, who, as Lynch says: “may have had more influence on techno than anyone who ever lived.”

You were designed to do great things. But a lot of people go to the grave not knowing that, not realizing their dreams and their visions, having them manifested and come to pass.

Read the full interview here (one which, according to one comment, might bring you to tears), or just experience the music for yourself this Thursday.

Richie Hawtin on What Powers His Sound

richie hawtin

When it comes to techno, Richie Hawtin is nothing short of a legend.

In the latest issue of Future Music, the mag met up with him in Berlin to find out how he’s stayed on top throughout all of his years in the ever-evolving techno scene.

In the interview, Hawtin gives the lowdown on the hardware that has powered his iconic sound, his decades of production experience, and his all new compilation, From My Mind to Yours.

Longevity is a rare commodity in electronic music…That’s why the multi-decade career of Richie Hawtin is so impressive.

Hawtin produces and performs under a long list of aliases, including Plastikman, Childsplay, 80xx, and F.U.S.E., to name just a few. Through these varied identities, he has been able to create a style that always keeps him on the cutting edge of the techno genre.

Pick up Future Music issue 301 for the full scoop on Richie Hawtin, as well as insider articles on multisampling, and FM’s favorite synths of 2015.

Future Music Richie Hawtin

Want to learn more about hardware synthesizers/configurations? Try Mmmmaven’s Synthesis Program!

Make It New with Matthew Dear [11/12]


When a talent like Matthew Dear asks to come back to play our party we know we’re doing something right.

Or, rather, we know YOU’RE doing something right.

Welcome the Ghostly International stalwart back as he fixes the decks for a third time at #MakeItNew

Whether it’s his outstanding collabs with the likes of Tiga, his production at the cutting-edge as Audion, or the DJ sets that light thousands on fire, Dear brings a quality musical mix experience each and every time he touches the controls.

w/ residents John Barera and Baltimoroder
Thu 11/12
Middlesex Lounge
315 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA
Central Square Cultural District