Coming in 2013 is a new documentary film telling the story of one of the most important technological developments in the history of modern electronic music; the Roland 808 drum machine. Planet Rock and Other Tales of the 808 is brought to viewers by Alex Dunn (You Know) and legendary producer Arthur Baker with guest interviews from some of the worlds finest DJs and producers including Diplo, Fat Boy Slim, Richie Hawtin, Questlove of The Roots, Soulwax, A-Trak, Felix da Housecat and many more to tell the story of the drum machine which defined the sound of electronic music from 80s Electro to Detroit Techno, Booty Bass and countless sub-genres in between.
The Roland TR 808 Rhythm composer introduced in 1981 was most significant in tracks such as this films title track Afrika Bambataa and The Soul Sonic Force ‘Planet Rock’, commercially on Marvin Gaye ‘Sexual Healing’, and on rap’s first #1 album Beastie Boys ‘Licensed to Ill’. Its signature sound bank of 16 percussive noises made the instrument so successful from the low kick drum through maracas, cowbell and an iconic snare sound. Its the instrument 808 State took their name from and named checked in songs by countless artists including Outkast, Black Eyed Peas and titling Kanye West’s 2008 album ’808s & Heartbreak’.
- Ben Loom @stronglook