The Roland TR-909 is one of electronic music’s most iconic instruments, and it might be due for a 2016 update.
Roland is launching its 909 Celebration on Friday, September 9, marking 33 years since the drum machine hit the market. As part of the celebration, Roland is promising the release of “many new and inspiring electronic instruments”. The new products will be announced as part of a 24-hour live stream. According to speculation from gear heads on Reddit and elsewhere, the announcement is believed to include a relaunched Roland TR-909 as part of the company’s Boutique Line.
The Roland TR-909 has a long and illustrious history, with the likes of Frankie Knuckles, Aphex Twin, Jeff Mills, Moby, The Prodigy and Orbital all vouching for its analogue powers. (Daft Punk even immortalised the machine in a song title with Revolution 909.) If you’ve ever got down to electronic classics like Inner City’s Good Life, Plastikman’s Spastik, Jeff Mills’ The Bells or Derrick May’s Strings of Life under his Rhythim Is Rhythim alias, you’ve met the 909. As Tom Middleton once said in an interview, “To this day, it basically remains peerless.”
Stay tuned to the Roland website for more details, and put September 9 (that’s 9/09 in case you somehow missed it) in the diary while you listen to 909 classic Spastik below.