It’s the TR-808 drum machine’s 40th anniversary this year, and Roland is marking 808 Day (8/08, of course) with a flood of goodies to celebrate the legendary instrument. To begin with, there’s a mini documentary (with a convenient 8:08 running time) detailing the device’s use in songs over the decades, right down to the programming sequences. It starts out early with classics like Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock,” and extends to artists and producers as far-ranging as Carl Craig and Jermaine Dupri. It’s worth watching if you want to know just how these stars used the TR-808 to craft their influential beats.
You can also read an interview with TR-808 creator Tadao Kikumoto on his brainchild, and listen to a Spotify playlist with some of the best-known tunes involving the device. Roland’s Articles platform is looking at additional famous tracks such as Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” and Daft Punk’s “Doin’ it Right.”