I'm delighted to announce 808 will be receiving it's UK premiere at this year's Sheffield Doc Fest! I'm really excited to be taking part and it's the perfect place for 808 to get it's UK Premiere.
It should be a fantastic event and we're really excited to be taking part. There'll be a Q&A after the screening followed by an after party at the famous Leadmill featuring a special set from two of the film's contributors, Graham Massey (808 State) and A Guy Called Gerald.
If “happy accident” were ever to find a form, it would probably be in the shape of a Roland TR-808. Created in 1980 as a basic backing tool for the production of demos, it failed to gain any traction in conventional music recording. What it did do instead, unintentionally, was pave the way to a new music history. With only 16 tweakable sounds on its palette, the imitative drum patches of the 808 were “otherworldly” and “futuristic”. Director Alexander Dunn’s thorough research connects the dots of a sonic genealogy that starts from Afrika Bambaataa and proliferates into branches of hip hop (Public Enemy, Beastie Boys), techno, house (Felix da Housecat), and eventually pop. Their interviews — which are just a few amongst many (see also: Plastikman, Damon Albarn, Questlove, and even Phil Collins) — offer an intimate, anecdotal history of the little game-changing machine that begat 21st century music.