Roland 808 Drum Machine. Possibly one of the most iconic piece of equipment in the House/Dance/Electronic Music world.
A new documentary titled 808, chronicling the history of the influential Roland TR-808 drum machine, has just been released.
In order to showcase the impact this hardware had on the entire music industry, the documentary features a collection of interviews from key figures like:
Richie Hawtin, Rick Rubin, The Beastie Boys, Damon Albarn, Questlove, Fatboy Slim, Diplo, New Order and many more.
Over the course of three years, filmmakers also journeyed to the 808’s birthplace of Japan to meet with Roland founder Mr. Ikutaro Kakehashi
Offering insight into the reason behind the machine’s mysterious early discontinuation at a time when its popularity was increasing.
The Roland 808 documentary’s narrator, Zane Lowe, expressed his excitement for being part of this new project:
“The Roland 808 has left an impactful mark on my life. It’s been the driving force for so many of my favorite records, and I jumped at the chance to be involved.
I wanted to learn more about how this incredible drum machine came to exist, and it’s been exciting to hear other people’s stories and what it means to them. It’s the magic ingredient.”
View a clip from 808 below, featuring bits of interviews with Richie Hawtin, The Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin, and watch the full documentary here.
Back in 1980 Japanese electronics manufacturer Roland released one of the most important musical instruments ever, the TR-808.
Although it only led a limited life, the 808 became world renowned, its signature low end bass and unique sounds redefining the musical landscape.
From hip hop to acid house, trap to pop, it drove a multitude of musical genres and inspired countless musicians to create seminal records that have defined modern hip hop and electronic music.
Even if you don’t already know the 808 by name, you will know its sound.
It’s a timeless icon that has touched almost every genre of music imaginable with a sound that is as relevant today as it ever was.
Featuring interviews with Afrika Bambaataa, Questlove, Beastie Boys, Pharrell Williams, David Guetta, Phil Collins, Richie Hawtin and many more.
808 is the inspirational story of how the 808’s ground-shaking beats changed the musical world