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About RodneyRodney Bakerr is a pioneer of the Chicago House Music scene. He was the first to add live guitar and other live instruments to house and acid house music that was played in the clubs and on record.
On the road, he included live guitar as well as electronic percussion. He was also one of the first to experiment with the guitar synth and the Chapman Stick, touring extensively through Europe with oth. Rodney produced three '80s hits which made The New Music Express British House Top 20. At one time, he had two simultaneous hits in the Top House 20 with Love is Happiness by Jaquarius, reaching #10 and Scream by the H-Men, at #12. Rodney cracked the top 20 again with House Girl by Mystic, which reached #11 in November 1988.
All of these songs were on Rodney's own independent label, Rockin' House Records, which was one of the original classic Chicago House labels. Rodney is probably best known as the man who wrote the original drum machine patterns for the Roland Synthesizer Company, maker of the legendary TR808 and TR909 drum machines. Rodney wrote the original house music patterns for these machines in the Roland Drum Machine Dictionary. These patterns were the first House patterns in print, were distributed around the world and are still heard on many dance hits today. For many musicians and producers, his was the first instruction on how to program and play intricate Chicago House beats. Many top producers learned from that book.
To many, Rodney is one of the true unsung heroes or godfathers of House. As a lefthanded guitarist, Rodney is included on the website Uncommon Sound for the unique quality that lefty guitarists have contributed to music history. He was also the leader and front man for Strange Circuits (Pioneering pre-Wax Trax era Electronic New Wave Band from Chicago) recording a 7" single under the Wax Trax label when it was a store two years before it become an imprint. Strange Circuits was the first Electronic group, after Brian Eno's solo (or non-group) effort, to record for the Wax Trax! label before Ministry and Front 242. The single Industrial Living can still be found on some Flexi-Pop and New Wave Complex compilations. Rodney Bakerr titles can also be found on these labels: Clone Classic Cuts (Netherlands) and BBE Records (England).
Rodney is also in the German Electronic Music Anthology Musik im Grossen und Ganzen (Broschiert) by author Frieder Butzmann. Great book!! The book is reviewed in the German E-BEATS blog. He is mentioned on the blog in an initial posting as being "best known as the man who wrote the original [House] drum machine patterns for the Roland Synthesizer Company" which were the "first House patterns in print;" and again mentioned in a second posting.
In the 1970s, Rodney Bakerr won a scholarship to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied and exhibited with Art Institute giants, such as Ed Paschke, Leif Brush and Sonia Landy Sheridan. Two of the biggest movements in Chicago art came from the Art Institute of Chicago at the time Bakerr was there: The Chicago Imagests and Chicago Generative Systems Art. Bakerr's collaborations with artists from those movements at that unique school have led us to today where Bakerr's art is now in the Museum's permanent collection at The Art Institute of Chicago.
Rodney Bakerr is the creator of RetroTech and RetroTechWorld, Anime/Mecha Based Robots. For more information check out RetroTechWorld .