After being completed for quite some time, the “808” documentary on the famed analog drum machine from Roland has scored a release via Apple Music on December 9, 2016. Presented by You Know Films and Atlantic Films, which is spearheading the publicity, the film details the genesis of the TR-808 and the impact it had on the music industry.
The documentary features interviews with influential 808 users and aficionados from Afrika Bambaataa (Planet Rock) to Phil Collins (One More Night). FutureMusic had an opportunity to view the film a year ago and definitely recommends it for anyone interested on the impact it made on music production, the industry and how it changed the course of music history. We especially enjoyed the interviews with Roland engineers and executives who divulged exactly why the 808 stopped production abruptly, even though sales were still strong.
Narrated by Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, the film features commentary and contributions from such superstars as Pharrell Williams, Afrika Bambaataa, Questlove, The Beastie Boys, Damon Albarn, David Guetta, Phil Collins, Diplo, New Order, and Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), as well as producers including Rick Rubin, Jellybean Benitez, Hank Shocklee, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. The filmmakers’ three-year-journey concludes in the 808’s birthplace of Japan, where Roland founder Mr. Ikutaro Kakehashi reveals the untold reason for the machine’s mysterious early discontinuation, just as it was turning up on more hit records than any other drum machine.
“This is it! After nearly five years of work ‘808′ is coming out.” said Alex Noyer the man behind the project and CEO of You Know Films. “Our audience’s support throughout has been incredible and thanks to our amazing partners we can finally celebrate this awe-inspiring piece of music history. I must thank my incredible team for their hard work, commitment and perseverance throughout.”
The feature length documentary will be first released worldwide exclusively via Apple Music on Friday, December 9th before being available on the iTunes Store a week later. The official soundtrack arrives November 25th via Big Beat Records, also for sale on vinyl alongside other exclusive 808 merchandise.
808: The Music – Track Listing
1) Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force – Planet Rock
2) Beastie Boys – Paul Revere
3) Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush the Show
4) Man Parrish – Hip Hop Be Bop (Don’t Stop)
5) Planet Patrol – Play At Your Own Risk
6) Shannon – Let The Music Play
7) Strafe – Set It Off
8) T La Rock / Jazzy J – It’s Yours
9) 808 State – Flow Coma
10) Felix da Housecat – Kickdrum
11) Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz- What U Gon’ Do (feat. Lil Scrappy)
12) Flux Pavilion – Vibrate
13) Jamie xx – Gosh
14) Lil Wayne & Charlie Puth – “Nothing But Trouble”