808 – The Movie (Official Trailer)


You Know Films today released this trailer for 808 – an upcoming documentary on the classic Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer drum machine:

808, formerly known as Planet Rock And Other Tales Of The 808features appearances and commentary from: Arthur Baker, Pharrell, David Guetta, Phil Collins, Lil Jon, Afrika Bambaataa, Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Rick Rubin, Diplo, Goldie and dozens more.

The filmmakers spent nearly three years traveling the world, interviewing iconic artists and platinum-certified producers, GRAMMY winners and cult figures, all of whom share their insight and memories of the 808’s impact.

Many of the contributors ask the same question: why was the 808 discontinued so quickly, even as it was turning up on more hit records than any other drum machine? Now, in an exclusive interview with legendary Roland founder Ikutaro “Mr. K” Kakehashi, the filmmakers behind 808 have at last learned the surprising reason behind the mystery.

“The making of 808 was a very personal journey for me: being able to reconnect and interview (along with Luke Bainbridge) many of my old DJ/producer friends, while helping get the godfathers of the early scene some overdue acknowledgement,” said Arthur Baker. “But the most special part of the filming was traveling to Japan, meeting and interviewing Mr. K and jamming on his 808 on my birthday. I feel very privileged to have had this opportunity.”

The film will be accompanied by a comprehensive soundtrack, to be released by Big Beat/Atlantic Records in conjunction with the film’s release. 808 gathers an array of era-spanning tracks born of and inspired by the 808.

808 is coming in 2015; the release date is to be announced.

14 thoughts on “808 – The Movie (Official Trailer)

  1. I hope they touch on how up until the past few years, most kids (and even some rappers) had no clue what an 808 actually was. Just a number they heard shouted out their whole lives, and they knew they needed it. I remember being in a bar one time and a girl yells out “i love the 808 in this song!” and I said, “there is no 808 in this song!” She was referring to the rolling 16 hi-hats… from a live kit.

  2. Did they mention Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO)? YMO was the first band to release a recording using the TR-808. The album BGM has 808 all over it.

    Cocteau Twins had 808 all over their early albums as well.

    I hope this isn’t a documentary with tunnel vision regarding early users. Hip Hop wasn’t the only style using the 808.

    1. I know, I totally agree with you, isn’t the 808 just amazing
      we should do a documentary about how the 808 revolutionized the world of music documentaries

  3. I’m the worlds oldest noob, and have no idea if it was an 808 in question, but the first time I felt I heard a drum machine do something really interesting was on New Order’s Blue Monday. Was that an 808? Ive seen it played on a drum kit, but there is always a bit of swing and human element as much as you try to sound automated. Perhaps Chad Smith can pull that off. (Yeah, I’ve met them (New Order) and had plenty of opportunity to ask, but I had more interesting questions to ask at that time).
    If it is in fact an 808, if someone can share the Blue Monday chart, I’d like to put it on my TR-8 for fun.

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