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Couch Wisdom

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Couch Wisdom is a weekly podcast presenting the best of Red Bull Music Academy’s lecture archive. Questlove has called these in-depth interviews ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ for music, and who are we to disagree with Questlove? With personal stories and creative insights from Björk to The Black Madonna, Young Thug engineer Alex Tumay to Moodymann, there’s something for every music fan. Red Bull Music Academy is a world-traveling series of festivals and workshops est. in 1998.

Couch Wisdom is a weekly podcast presenting the best of Red Bull Music Academy’s lecture archive. Questlove has called these in-depth interviews ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ for music, and who are we to disagree with Questlove? With personal stories and creative insights from Björk to The Black Madonna, Young Thug engineer Alex Tumay to Moodymann, there’s something for every music fan. Red Bull Music Academy is a world-traveling series of festivals and workshops est. in 1998.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Couch Wisdom is a weekly podcast presenting the best of Red Bull Music Academy’s lecture archive. Questlove has called these in-depth interviews ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ for music, and who are we to disagree with Questlove? With personal stories and creative insights from Björk to The Black Madonna, Young Thug engineer Alex Tumay to Moodymann, there’s something for every music fan. Red Bull Music Academy is a world-traveling series of festivals and workshops est. in 1998.

Language:

English


Episodes

Footwork originator RP Boo

11/12/2018
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Chicago producer Kavain Space, AKA RP Boo, invented footwork with his 1997 track “Baby Come On.” A dancer at first, Space learned to produce thanks to Dance Mania affiliate DJ Slugo. By bumping up the tempo of ghetto house, he established a new template that lit a fire under an entire generation of dancers and producers. In the wake of footwork’s expansion outside of Chicago, the Planet Mu label released two retrospectives of RP Boo’s pioneering work – 2013’s Legacy and 2015’s Classics...

Duration:01:12:39

Inimitable DJ and producer Objekt

11/5/2018
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Many musicians are genre-hoppers these days, but few have an inventive take on every style they touch. RBMA alum Objekt could be an exception to the rule. His first record, the white-label Objekt #1, came out in 2011. Across his subsequent club output on labels such as Hessle Audio, Leisure System and Power Vacuum, audacious sound design and meticulous arrangements have served to buckle and twist dancefloor conventions. His debut album, 2014’s Flatland on PAN, consolidated his influences –...

Duration:00:52:42

Experimental artist Fatima Al Qadiri

10/29/2018
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Senegal-born, Kuwait-raised and Berlin-residing visual artist and producer Fatima Al Qadiri pulls together a heady blend of personal and political geographies. As a child, she experienced the Gulf War firsthand with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait – a trauma that was furthered by her love for video games, and playing the Gulf War-glorifying Desert Strike video game barely two years after she saw her native Kuwait destroyed. Memory is a crucial element to how she melts music down into her own...

Duration:00:38:00

Synth guru and producer Malcolm Cecil

10/22/2018
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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 albums...

Duration:00:56:39

Monolake's Robert Henke

10/15/2018
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If Robert Henke never made a single record, he would still be one of the most significant figures in electronic music. Along with cofounder and collaborator Gerhard Behles, Henke developed the earliest version of Ableton Live, the digital audio workstation and audio sequencer that, among other things, allows musicians to store and trigger samples during shows. Henke has also recorded several innovative electronic albums. On Gravity, recorded under the name Monolake, he mined the intersection...

Duration:00:46:44

Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto: Electronic Luminaries in Collaboration

10/8/2018
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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, the group pioneered a new electro-pop sound, with tracks like “Firecracker / Computer Game” becoming electro classics in the east and west. Sakamoto also pursued his own solo work, achieving a commercial breakthrough as YMO split up with his score to the film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (which he...

Duration:01:12:23

Modeselektor: Anarchic Berlin Techno

10/1/2018
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Modeselektor calls their sound “Russian crunk.” But they are, as Londoners might say, royally taking the piss. Hailing from Germany, the duo work in a variety of tempos and styles with an emphasis on big, warpy synth sounds and the kind of heavy basslines that can threaten foundations. With plenty of artist albums and Moderat, their joint project with Apparat, it is as an audio/visual live act that they’ve truly conquered hearts and minds. In this episode of Couch Wisdom recorded at the 2010...

Duration:01:09:31

Techno innovator Richie Hawtin

9/24/2018
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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 & 909 compilation are all firmly planted in techno's history. A fierce advocate of developing technology as long as it doesn't detract from the physical...

Duration:00:59:48

Berlin electronic/punk icon Hanin Elias

9/17/2018
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Hanin Elias was born in Germany and spent part of her childhood in Syria. After her family moved to Berlin, she ran away from home and found her voice in the city’s then bustling punk and hardcore underground, and in 1992 she formed Atari Teenage Riot with fellow Berliners Alec Empire and MC Carl Crack. Fusing punk and techno aesthetics into what they termed digital hardcore, the band expressed anarchist and anti-fascist ideals, attracting controversy as well as industry interest. Using an...

Duration:00:52:57

Mastering Engineer Mike Grinser

9/10/2018
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Mike Grinser has made a name for himself in Berlin’s electronic world and beyond as one of half of mastering studio Manmade Mastering, alongside his partner Tim Xavier. In addition, Grinser also works at another renowned Berlin studio, Dubplates & Mastering. Born and raised in Bavaria, Grinser was a rock fan at first before being turned onto electronic music in clubs via early Chicago records from the likes of Phuture. Intrigued, he sought to understand how this new music was created,...

Duration:00:35:18

Alexander Hacke and Gareth Jones: On Berlin's '80s Underground

9/3/2018
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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 to...

Duration:01:27:46

Atari Teenage Riot Founder Alec Empire

8/27/2018
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Alec Empire began his career as an agitator and noise maker in late-’80s West Berlin. Following the fall of the Wall in 1989, a young Empire looked to the rebellious sounds of techno, acid house and punk to inform a new project: Atari Teenage Riot. The trio debuted in 1992 as part of Germany’s rave community but soon became known, and sometimes despised, for the speed, noise and political stance of its self-styled digital hardcore sound. In 1994, Empire founded the Digital Hardcore label as...

Duration:01:34:00

South African House Music Master Black Coffee

8/20/2018
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Durban, South Africa, is one of the hottest scenes for dance music right now. Black Coffee, real name Nathi Maphumulo, serves as its elder statesman. The 40-year-old first appeared at the Academy as one of two South African participants at the 2003 Red Bull Music Academy in Cape Town. His style of Afropolitain house is, in his words, “home-brewed but future-focused.” Maphumulo's recording career began in 2005 with a remix of Hugh Masekela's 1972 hit "Stimela" and has gone on to include five...

Duration:00:59:51

Keyboardist and Funk Icon Bernie Worrell

8/13/2018
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Bernie Worrell first came to prominence as a founding member and musical director of Parliament/Funkadelic, radically charting the course of emerging keyboard technology during the golden age of synthesis. After departing Parliament/Funkadelic, Worrell resurfaced with the revamped Talking Heads lineup for several albums. Worrell’s colorings, this time delivered via new digital keyboards, were central to the recasting of group leader David Byrne’s musical ideas through African rhythms. In the...

Duration:01:02:53

Atlanta Super-Producer Mike WiLL Made-It

8/6/2018
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Mike WiLL Made-It’s unmistakable producer tag has graced some of pop and southern rap’s most ubiquitous hits in recent years. The Atlanta-born Michael Williams’ journey began with a gift from his father, a Korg ES-1 sampler, followed by his first break: producing for hometown hero Gucci Mane. Since then, he’s founded the EarDrummers Entertainment company, home to rappers and producers, and helped maintain Atlanta’s status as the unquestioned epicenter of modern day hip-hop. While he’s...

Duration:01:44:19

Calypso Icon and Activist Harry Belafonte

7/30/2018
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Three-time Grammy Award-winning musician, actor and activist Harry Belafonte is one of the most successful Jamaican-American artists of all time, renowned for bringing the Caribbean sound into the international mainstream. Just as he is an advocate of world music, Belafonte is acclaimed for his lifelong commitment to political and humanitarian activism. A close friend and adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Belafonte was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and continued to...

Duration:01:00:55

Throbbing Gristle's Cosey Fanni Tutti

7/23/2018
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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 frequently been years ahead of its time. In her fascinating lecture at the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy in London, she delved into emotion, meaning and provocation in art.

Duration:00:53:26

Bob Marley & the Wailers Guitarist Junior Marvin

7/16/2018
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Originally a rock and blues guitarist, Junior Marvin became a member of Bob Marley & The Wailers from 1977 to 1981 after getting into reggae through Toots & The Maytals. He continued playing with the Wailers until 1997, and in his lecture at the 2016 Red Bull Music Academy, he looks back on a career that brought him close to greats like Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix.

Duration:01:23:29

Mastering Engineer Rashad Becker

7/9/2018
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Around Berlin, Rashad Becker’s name is synonymous with sonic brilliance — a mastering engineer at the famed Dubplates & Mastering studio, he put the finishing touches on over 1,200 of your favorite techno, dub and house records. His album 'Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. 1’ is a disorienting three-dimensional thrill ride inside Becker’s mind, full of overlapping layers and links. In his 2014 Red Bull Music Academy lecture in Tokyo, Becker explained how he creates chewy and complex...

Duration:01:01:43

'Lost in Translation' Music Supervisor Brian Reitzell

7/2/2018
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Brian Reitzell is best known for his contributions to films by Sofia Coppola, including The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, but he’s also composed scores for the football drama Friday Night Lights and the TV series Hannibal. In his 2015 Red Bull Music Academy lecture, Reitzell spoke about the trials and tribulations of licensing music for film and his collaborations with artists like Air, Kevin Shields, Aphex Twin and more.

Duration:01:10:27