Instrumental Instruments

The 909

60 minsFirst aired 9 Sep 2016This episode is unavailable. Why?
Photo by Max Schiano

In this premiere episode, we dive deep into the drum machine that helped define techno, featuring DJ Pierre, Neil Landstrumm, Altern-8’s Mark Archer and more.

When it went on sale in 1984, the Roland Corporation had high hopes for the TR-909 Rhythm Composer drum machine. While it was commercially a flop at the time of its release, it has gone on to leave an enormous legacy in electronic music over the past three decades. An integral building block in the foundational sounds of house and techno that emerged from Chicago and Detroit, its kick drum has underpinned more classics than you can reasonably name. Featuring interviews with DJ Pierre and Neil Landstrumm, a demo from techno producer and audio engineer Phil Moffa, and some key pieces of the 909 repertoire, we tell the story of this instrumental instrument.

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