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Madison Vain

12 essential songs that use 808s, picked by the experts


In honor of the new 808 documentary which will premiere on Apple Music, Entertainment Weekly spoke with Alex Noyer and Arthur Baker and got them to name the 12 songs that demonstrate the everlasting impact of the 808 drum machine on music history.

This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly

(Atlantic Records)

Alex Noyer and Arthur Baker, the producers behind the '808' documentary, pick their favorite tunes that use the drum machine

The Roland TR-808 debuted in the ’80s and pop music was, effectively, changed forever. Dance music and hip-hop adopted its low-end bass technology immediately and its jagged effect now flood the Top 40 charts. Starting Friday, Dec. 9, 808, a documentary that traces the machine’s history and features interviews with Questlove, Pharrell Williams, Phil Collins, and more is streaming on Apple Music.

To pair with the release, Alex Noyer (executive producer) and Arthur Baker (co-producer who has also produced music for Afrika Bambaataa, Planet Patrol, and New Order) put together a thumping playlist of their favorite 808 appearances in music.

Yellow Magic Orchestra, “1000 Knives”

Noyer: “This is a highlight of how the earliest 808 use sounded, how bands became a little bit like kraftwerk — so a really odd, electronic sound. In 1981 this sounded almost alien. It still gives me a little pinch every time I hear it. It’s incredibly powerful...

... Read the full article and list at ew.com/article/2016/12/09/808-documenta...

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