Levon Vincent, Julio Bashmore and more react to Roland reviving the 808 drum machine

Yesterday saw big news for music producers both amateur and professional: Roland are – in some way, shape or form – updating the classic 808 drum machine.

When there’s news like this, what’s often most interesting is the reaction of producers themselves, and the news provoked a range of responses – both positive and negative.

Renowned New York house producer Levon Vincent [above] defended the move on his official Facebook page yesterday, claiming that “you guys are nuts man analog or digital its going to badass.” “I think what everyone means when they are knocking digital is that they actually dont want PCM sample playback, like some tired 909 samples in a roland groovebox”, he continued [all sic], “but i think digital gets a bad rap. have you HEARD that P12? and stable tuning etc etc… I can’t wait for this new roldn thing, I bet they hit it right outta the park, I mean look what Korg is doing latelty.. Im sure roland is following suit.”

Not everybody is as optimistic as Levon, however. Night Slugs’ Bok Bok wondered on Twitter whether “the new 808 will be like the new [Korg] MS-20 – kinda plasticcy and easily breakable”, while Julio Bashmore hopes it’s not like the Jupiter-80, an updated version of Roland’s classic Jupiter-8 synth.

Even away from the technicals of the product, some are sceptical: Hyperdub’s Scratcha DVA doesn’t want to hear another 808 track any time soon. Breakage and Low End Theory’s Daddy Kev, however, are pretty enthusiastic, and although we’ve seen some producers express their disappointment that their 808 might no longer be so special (the original models trade hands for £2,000+), Addison Groove, whose entire production method is based around his 808, seems pretty excited by the news.

You can read the full story here, and watch live 808 sessions by Addison Groove and Egyptian Lover for FACT TV below.



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