Ikutaro Kakehashi, Roland Founder & Inventor Of TR-808, Dies

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: < 1 min
Last updated 25 March, 2018

The Roland TR-808 drum mnachine: Its sounds underpinned 80s pop and dance music, and its influence is still huge today.

Ikutaro Kakehashi, Roland founder and the man behind so many iconic dance music instruments including the TB-303 bassline machine and the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines, has died at 87.

His influence on dance music was huge, and it is no underestimation to say that without the above named devices, dance music simply wouldn’t have sounded how it does today.

Of the drum machines, the TR-808 underpinned 80s pop as well as electro and house, and the TR-909 provided the drum sounds for a massive amount of 80s and particularly 90s dance music.

Meanwhile the TB-303 – while originally intended to simply provide a bassline sequencer for musicians to use instead of a real live bass player – ended up being the machine that generated the iconic acid sound that was one of the dominating elements of so much 80s and 90s dance music.

His sounds and influence are still huge today, with the recent DJ-808 DJ controller incorporating a sequencer complete with many classic sounds from these machines.

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