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“808 Day” Celebrates Roland’s Landmark Drum Machine

...the burgeoning electronic dance, electro, house, techno, R&B, and hip-hop genres. (It had a retail price of $1,100, compared to Linn Electronics’ LM-1, which sold for $5,000.) To celebrate its 35th anniversary, the global music community staged a series of special events on what has been dubbed “808 Day,” naturally falling on 08/08.

Independent film producers unveiled 808: The Movie, a documentary recounting the enormous influence the TR-808 has had on music and pop culture since the 1980s. The film, which is expected for general release this fall, features appearances by a diverse lineup of artists and producers, including Afrika Bambaataa, Fatboy Slim, Rick Rubin, Phil Collins, Questlove, David Guetta and many others. 

Low End Theory, the acclaimed L.A. nightclub that pushes the boundaries of experimental music (jazz, electronic, hip-hop), featured the 808 at its second annual Low End Theory Festival 2015 on 808 Day. The festival featured live music headliners and production workshops where artists shared beat-making techniques and Roland synth demos.

Cutting-edge electronic music production and DJ school Dubspot also celebrated 808 Day at its New York and L.A. campuses by inviting all musicians to participate in a set of beat production workshops, hands-on demos, artist performances, and discounts on Roland’s present-day TR-8.

Despite the growing trend toward creating music partially or exclusively with software, the TR-808 still reigns supreme for many. In recognition, the Roland Corporation launched the TR-8 at the end of 2014 to bring the legendary “808 sound” to today’s new generation of musicians.

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