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Electro pioneer Arthur Baker recalls the links between club music and early hip-hop and how a seemingly simple session for then-unknown Tommy Boy Records yielded the label’s first hit, Afrika Bambaataa & The Jazzy 5’s “Jazzy Sensation.”

Watch the full lecture to hear Arthur Baker discuss the heydays of the Paradise Garage, working with New Order and why new music will always have the power to shock.

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Rediscover over a decade’s worth of in-depth interviews from the DJ History archive:

He may have pioneered electro-rap with “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force, but Arthur Baker’s career has encompassed virtually every genre with a groove. Beginning in his native Boston as a soul DJ, Baker got his first break and taste of the industry when his first attempt at an album was sold to and re-recorded by Tom Moulton.
Undeterred by the experience, he moved to New York in the early ’80s and got to work with the Latin Rascals and Tommy Boy Records, putting a bombastic spin on early sample-led productions and spending time in Manhattan’s thriving clubs. He then found a line in dance remixes for pop and rock songs and set up his own Streetwise label, narrowly missing out on the Beastie Boys. In 1984 he worked on Beat Street and two years later also lent a hand to Manchester’s New Order. Today Baker spends less time behind the desk but his sonic fingerprints remain all over the sounds you hear.

Red Bull Music Academy is the educational pillar of the Red Bull Music program. It is a global institution that for 20 years has been committed to fostering creativity in music by collaborating with those who are shaping our musical landscape and creating spaces for music makers to learn and immerse themselves.

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