Beat Academy SCHOOL

Beat Academy SCHOOL
For nearly a decade, the Red Bull Music Academy, a mobile music school for aspiring beat makers and wax spinners, has been quietly roaming the globe, from Berlin and Johannesburg to Sao Paulo and this year’s locale, Melbourne, Australia. Begun by a group of German and Austrian DJs/producers in 1998, it was formed "to provide a platform for the exchange of musical knowledge and ideas” about dance music and hip-hop, covering everything from production and playing out to running a business, learning genre histories and sussing out the latest hi-tech gadgetry.

But what makes this more than just a matchbook college for the Technics generation or a grassroots marketing effort by an Austrian-based energy drink behemoth is the quality of lecturers they bring onboard for the academy’s two two-week terms. Though this year’s teachers were still under wraps at press time (except for hip-hop historian Jeff Chang, who let his presence slip on his website), past profs have included late, great inventor Bob Moog, influential BBC Radio One DJ Gilles Peterson, Detroit techno god Jeff Mills, Chicago house kingpin Derrick Carter, Guyanese-born, London-based dub legend Mad Professor and the Roots’ drummer ?uestlove.

The Canadian contingent has also shown up in full force over the years, with presentations from Montreal’s pioneering DJ/producer Tiga and turntablist A-Trak, Dundas’s Caribou, Vancouver’s Mathew Jonson and Windsor’s finest John Aquaviva and Richie Hawtin. This year’s Australian sessions — Sept. 24 to Oct. 6 and Oct. 15 to 27 — attracted 2,422 applicants, with only 60 chosen from amongst 33 nationalities (including a pair of Canucks and first time representation from Pakistan, Jamaica, Lebanon and Hong Kong). But Redbullmusicacademy.com provides streaming video and audio plus written diaries from the sessions’ lectures, workshops and gigs, posted alongside the many megs of content from past school years. So if you weren‘t accepted, no worries, mate. You can still learn a lot online.