In this film Nelson George explains how the Roland TR-808 drum machine has remained a vital element in much of pop music especially in genres like hip hop, techno and house. When it first appeared most musicians were unimpressed; it didn’t sound like drums and had a handclap feature that didn’t sound like hands clapping. One reviewer said the machine sounded like marching anteaters.
However for some the 808 was so bad it was good and they embraced it’s artificiality as ‘Vintage Synth Explorer‘ explain;
Booming bass kicks, crispy snares and that annoying cowbell sound made famous during the 80′s are all part of the 808 and it’s famous sound. Clearly the 808 has been one of the more important and famous drum machines in the history of music, spawning imitators (ReBirth, DrumStation) and band names (808 State). Famous users include Orbital, Überzone, Download, Aphex Twin, 808 State, BT, Bomb The Bass, Sense Datum, The Prodigy, Josh Wink, Faithless, Skinny Puppy, Bushflange, Jimi Tenor, A Guy Called Gerald, Eat Static, Dr. Dre, Jimmy Edgar, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Freddy Fresh, Richie Hawtin, Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, Cocteau Twins, Marvin Gaye, Luke Vibert, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, the Beastie Boys, Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran), and Puff Daddy
Enjoy the film, some of you might even have memories of its sound, bad ones. But no matter what you can’t deny the importance of this drum machines contribution to pop music history.
Via Open Culture
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