Don’t worry. This isn’t a movie about Kanye West’s love life. 808 is an upcoming documentary that looks at the history of one of electronic music’s most innovative and influential pieces of equipment.
Directed by Alexander Dunn, 808 details the journey and evolution of the Roland TR-808 and its impact on the music industry as a whole. The film features a number of appearances from some of the biggest names in EDM and hip hop like Diplo, Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook), Richie Hawtin, Armand Van Helden, ?uestlove, Rick Rubin, David Guetta, Pharrell Williams, Tiga, Gorillaz’ Damon Albarn, Phil Collins, and more.
Dunn revealed that making a film about a piece of equipment presented a unique challenge, but one that gave him the opportunity to dive into the minds of some of the world’s biggest producers.
Making a documentary about a drum machine, a piece of electronic equipment, is an interesting challenge.
It has no voice of its own, so as a protagonist, it’s rather difficult to mold a story around. 808 has really been a journey of discovery for me. One that led myself and the team to meet over 50 musicians and artists from all around the world, hearing their personal stories about the 808 and the music they created using its iconic sounds. Those artists and musicians are the real protagonists of the film and the 808, in the hands of our contributors, would change music forever.
Watch the trailer below. 808 is scheduled for a 2015 release.