Move Over 'Stranger Things,' This Ad for the Roland 808 Is All the 80s Nostalgia You Need
August 8, 2016 David Garber
Today, August 8, aka 808 day, marks a yearly occasion in which we celebrate the Roland TR-808, one of the world's first programmable drum machines that's been responsible for the development of genres ranging from acid house to trap music. Produced between 1980 and 1984 by the Japanese electronic company, though still widely used today in both the studio and live space, the beloved piece of gear is still a cornerstone of dance music and was even the subject of a full-length documentary released earlier in the spring. The hardware was officially discontinued in 1983, and remaining models can either be in poor working condition, or exorbitantly expensive.
In lieu of today's holiday (um, why do we not have off work again?), we've come across an alleged Roland advert from 1980 that explains some of once-revolutionary features from the drum machine—the spot highlights features like built in memory and "realistic sounds"—as well as some synthy sounds reminiscent of recent smash hit TV series Stranger Things, as well as 80s motion picture Tron.
Check out the video above and read today's feature on Ryuicui Sakamoto, whose Yellow Magic Orchestra band was one of the first groups to use the 808 in the live space.