The Roland 808 Documentary Is Coming

One of the most influential pieces of equipment in music history finally gets a proper biopic...
Publish date:


A couple of years ago I watched an interview with Arthur Baker hinting towards him making a film about the Roland TR-808 drum machine. Like a lot of things you read or watch it all gets lost from memory and you forget about it until you see hard facts...Well it's happening.

I would imagine this will be lost on some people, but others will watch the preview and salivate with pure excitement about a documentary on one of the most important pieces of equipment in dance music history, and one of the most important in the music industry period.

Released in 1980 the programmable drum machine helped shape a new sound of production and importantly was available on a budget. Who knows what musical paths would have been taken without it or the countless producers of the time who, if it hadn't been affordable, we probably would never have heard. For 80's freaks like myself who could sit here and reel off hundreds of influential records that the 808 was part of, it's certainly something to celebrate.

For those reading this who may be thinking "It never meant anything, I've never heard of it", you'd never know what the first 8 seconds of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" would sound like without it.

The film features Afrika Bambaataa, Rick Rubin, Todd Terry, Man Parish, Felix Da Housecat, 808 State, New Order, the list goes on, and you can watch it all early 2015...