The legendary TR-808 drum machine, heard in hit records from artists such as Marvin Gaye, Afrika Bambaataa, and Kanye West, has been announced as the newest piece of musical hardware to be getting a makeover and a reissue by its manufacturer, Roland.
As The Verge reports, the classic drum machine, which has been used on more hit records than any other machine, is being reissued as the TR-08 as part of Roland’s Boutique Line. Set to be a “detailed and faithful replica” of the original, the TR-08 is somewhat smaller than the TR-808, and will feature a bunch of new features as well. It’s also worth noting that this news was announced on August 8th, US time, which is 8/08, if you’re wondering.
With Roland having released their TR-909 and TB-303 instruments previously for their Boutique Line, the new TR-08 is made with affordability, mobility, and obviously street cred, in mind. So if you’re keen to have what looks and sounds like a piece of musical history in your setup, this is for you.
Introduced in 1980, the original TR-808 sold about 12,000 units before being discontinued due to an inability to source materials used in its creation. The machine went on to become one of the most famous instruments of all-time, being used by acts such as the Beastie Boys, Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, and Public Enemy, and its influence to the hip-hop world has been likened to the influence that the Fender Stratocaster had on the world of rock music.
As The Verge notes, no one is quite sure just yet when the revived unit is set to drop, since the Roland website doesn’t list any info of that sort. However, some online stores have begun pre-orders for the item, estimating an October delivery date. So if you’ve always wanted to get your hands on one of these classics pieces of hardware, now’s your chance!
Check out Kanye West’s ‘Love Lockdown’, from his 808s & Heartbreaks album, which was named in honour of, and makes frequent use of, the Roland TR-808 drum machine.