Electronic Music Innovation (Afirka Bambaataa)

Kevin Donovan (aka Afrika Bambaataa) is one of the main originators of break beat deejaying. He was a very popular in South Bronx back in the 80’s as a DJ. Bambaataa also had two rap crews, the Jazzy 5 and Soul Sonic Force. Both “Jazzy Sensation” by Jazzy 5 and “Zulu Nation Throwdown” by Soul Sonic Force were debuted in 1980 and were classic hip hop anthems. Though this wasn’t impacting the electronic music, it did get Afrika Bambaataa a lot of respect. He had already earned himself the nickname “Master of Records” because he had encyclopedic like knowledge of funk grooves. An electronic “beat box” rhythm was played on a synthesizer by John Robie, then the hook was modeled after a song that was popular with the youth. That song was“Trans Europe Express” by Kraftwerk. The end result was a pop hit “Planet Rock”, this gave Afrika Bambaattaa and Soul Sonic Force a hit that went gold. It hit the chart at #48 in 1982. The song itself spawned different types of music such as, dance music and “electro-boogie” rap. This hit brought a lot of attention to this new style of music and went on to influence the development of the hip hop culture. Bambaataa is known as a Founding Father of Hip-Hop, Grandfather/Godfather, as well as The Father of the Electro Funk Sound. The creation of “Planet Rock” will always show forth its influences by the music we’ve heard and continue to hear. Today EDM, Techno, Trap, and other genre all incorporate the same idea in a sense, the sounds themselves have changed throughout time. One if the biggest things out right now is remixing rap/ hip hop music for clubs, most of the time this involves electronic instruments and sounds to achieve the goal. Where would music be today without artist/DJ’s such as Afrika Bambaataa?








Kraftwerk was a German band, they wore suits and ties that played rather odd insturments. They set out to create a new image for the German culture with the influences of The Beach Boys. Kraftwerk had the dsire to be well known around the globe. They were the start of German’s style, look, and sound. Trying to focus on the good things that their country had brought upon us. While bringing a new electronic sound along with it. This resulted in “Autobahn” which was a hit a reached number 11. This was taken by surprise since many believed the song was a gimmick. Kratwerk used word play in which Americans could refer to in the English language. Kraftwerk would go on to release more songs along the same concepts. These song would incase electronic sounds that would go on and sort of shape the future for music. Not all music but but many genres were incorporating these sounds and instruments. The sounds that were created by Kratwerk could only be described as alien or erotic. These same sounds influenced a major recording artist who was a glam rock star, David Bowie. This can be observed in his work on “Heroes”. Many artist have sampled their work. One for example would beJay-Z sampled “The Man Machine” for his song “Sunshine” in 1997.Eventually they would go on to do songs in multiple languages, these include; German, English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and a Slavic language. This is very popular today, for a song to be translated into multiple languages, whether it be by the original artist or someone who is covering the song in their native tongue. Where would music be today without a revolutionary band such as Kraftwerk? They have influenced so many aspect of electronic music without it things would be so different. The impression I’m left with from the work of Kraftwerk is desire to be different but themselves all at the same time. That is an amazing trait.



Top 10 Influential Artists in Electronic Music







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