March 14, 2013


808 State: Celebrating the Funkiest Drum Machine Ever

Ebet Roberts/Redferns
Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Even if you've never heard of the Roland TR-808 drum machine, you've definitely heard it. In the early to mid-1980s, it became the go-to programmable rhythm, used on everything from Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" to  Afrika Bambaataa's seminal early hip-hop classic "Planet Rock." Later, the machine would be the backbone for house, techno and drum 'n bass and continues to be used in a slew of famous tracks. Catch up on one of the most famous pieces of equipment with our playlist below.