The mighty Roland 909 drum machine; it's been keeping dance floors bumping for more than 30 years! Not the most romantic of instruments one might think, but whatever pickles your gherkin I guess… It's not often you'll see one of these being incorporated into a DJ set these days, but VOID's Shanghai Ultra will be doing just that tonight at the shelter.
If the 808 was the rhythmic godfather of hip hop music, then the 909 is the same to techno and a fair slice of tougher-edged house. A little history anyone?
The 909 was launched three years after its 808 forebear, changing the game slightly by offering a part-analogue, part-sample-based sound generation hybrid. As with the 808, the 909 sounded a long way from the more realistic alternatives from Linn and Oberheim that had all but secured the upper ends of the drum machine market. When techno and house pioneers got their hands on the machine, its analogue sounds – which, in the bass end particularly, provided the relevant thump – kickstarted a generation of 909-heavy rhythm tracks.
Attempting to list all the significant users of the 909 is a pointless task; you’d be hard pressed to find a techno or house producer who hasn’t used a 909 kick (whether real or sampled) at some point.
So there you have it, love is all around! Here's a recording of Mr. Ultra in session at the last VOID party a couple of weeks back where NMLSS made an, erm, name for himself - enjoy your evening you lucky ladies!