A Love Letter To The Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer

On ‘909 Day‘, Sunshine Jones shared A Love Letter To The Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer.

Here’s what he has to say about the video:

Covering the basic features of the instrument, but largely focused on the impact this drum machine had on absolutely everything. My most personal love letter, I share stories of how I actually got one, and of being attacked for using a drum machine at all. It’s fun, inspiring, and filled with love, devotion and gratitude to all of the maestros who had the courage to dance at a time when dancing wasn’t on the minds of masses.

The TR-909 is the voice of those of us who weren’t done dancing, and cheered for disco’s revenge.

Note: I am an electronic musician, a designer, and a huge fan of synthesizers and drum machines. I am not an authority, nor am I a historian. These love letters (I should think that it goes without saying) are Op Ed (opinion based editorial) and thus they are filled with hyperbole, artistic license and some degree of speaking categorically to get the point across. This is not the first word, or anywhere near the last word on the story I’m telling. It’s just a love letter.

Got your own 909 story? Let us know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “A Love Letter To The Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer

  1. It kind-of bums me out that today the majority of music being played in clubs was probably download off of beatport.com earlier in the day. Browsing and cultivating a secret vinyl collection is, which was the necessity, isn’t as important. Performing with a hardware drum machine is out there, people are doing it, but it’s rare and few people dancing know what that is or can appreciate it.

    At the same time, the music has become so much more accessible and it is easier to get a really good groove going for the dance floor, however with all of this progress and accessibility, it’s gotten harder for individual DJs or nights to stand out. It is like we’re innovating less because we have all of these great tools and unheard-of access to tracks.

  2. Great video as usual from Sunshine. The comments about the Rimshot and weird Toms are spot on and there’s something about his deadpan delivery combined with his deep knowledge of music history that really shines here. Slickly produced but not in the service of marketing any particular thing, since this machine has been out of production for decades. It truly comes off as a “love letter” produced solely for its own sake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *