All Hail the Beat, directed by Nelson George, is a three-minute celebration of the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, which has inspired countless musicians since it was discontinued in 1984. From Kanye West to Daft Punk, the artificial beats have shaped hip hop, techno, and more. How many famous tracks can you pick out from the three-minute soundtrack alone? The short film is a part of Focus Forward Films, a documentary series about innovation sponsored by GE.
The 808 was one of the earliest programmable drum machines and was relatively affordable for its time -- it cost $1,195 when it was released in 1980 and got cheaper when it was replaced by "better" machines. Now, of course, musicians don't need one to produce its characteristic sounds, but its legacy is everywhere.
For more from Focus Forward Films, visit http://focusforwardfilms.com/.
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