If you love electronic dance music then it’s an undeniable fact that you will have heard the classic sounds of Roland’s TR-808 drum machine woven into the fabric of at least some of the music you’ve heard over the years. Even if you don’t love dance music then you’ll still have heard the 808’s trademark drum patterns slipped into your Hip Hop, Pop, R&B or even Rock music here and there. To be straight it is almost impossible to overstate the effect that the 808 had on dance music after it was launched all the way back in 1982 and since then it has reached legendary status so much so that original 808s now sell for thousands on eBay and similar sites.
Despite the fact that the 808 sound is fairly unique and sounds nothing like real drums it struck a chord with originators at that time including Afrika Bambaataa, Mantronix, 2 Live Crew, The Beastie Boys and even Marvin Gaye and soon went on to become an essential piece of studio kit.
As part of this years Adelaide Film Festival they’ll be featuring special showings of 808 a documentary about this legendary piece of kit giving us a run down on just how it seemingly, magically became the go to machine for musical innovators at the time and just how it is still shaping dance music now. Featuring interviews with heavy hitters including Beastie Boys, David Guetta, Fatboy Slim, Pharrell and loads more you simply can’t miss this one.
Want to have some fun with an 808 but can’t afford it? Check out this virtual machine.