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808s, 303s and 909s

Radio 1's Kutski discovers how three small electronic boxes from the 1980s helped shape the sound of both hip hop and dance music.

Listened to much hip-hop or dance music? If so, then you would have undoubtedly heard the sounds of either the Roland 808, 303 or 909 - but what are they and what do these numbers mean?

BBC Radio 1's Kutski discovers how three small electronic boxes from the 1980's sculpted the sound of both Hip-Hop and Dance music. He makes it his mission to track down the team that worked on the Roland 808, 303 and 909 machines to see if they had any idea their inventions would have such a massive influence on contemporary music.

He plots their integral role in the development of hip-hop, house and techno; and the myriad of sub-genres that have spawned from these. Kutski chats to DJ Premier, Richie Hawtin, Seth Troxler, The 2Bears, Flostradamus and Pete Tong amongst others as he founds out why producers around the globe continue to be obsessed with these sounds, more than three decades after they were first created.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Wink

    Higher State Of Consciousness

    • Higher State of Conciousness.
    • Manifesto.
  • Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force

    Planet Rock

    • Tommy Boy Greatest Beats.
    • Tommy Boy.
  • Afrika Bambaataa & Soulsonic Force

    Looking For The Perfect Beat

    • Tommy Boy Greatest Beats.
    • Tommy Boy.
  • Biz Markie

    Nobody Beats The Biz

    • Prism.
  • Gang Starr

    Mass Appeal

    • Chrysalis.
  • Drake

    The Motto (feat. Lil Wayne)

    • Cash Money.
  • Kanye West

    Love Lockdown

    • Def Jam Recordings.
  • Kanye West

    Heartless

    • Roc-a-fella.
  • OutKast

    The Way You Move

    • The Way You Move.
    • Arista.
  • TNGHT

    Bugg'N

    • LuckyMe/Warp.
  • Baauer

    Harlem Shake

    • Jeffrees/Mad Decent.
  • 2 Chainz

    Birthday Song (feat. Kanye West)

  • Cybotron

    Clear

    • Metroplex.
  • The 2 Bears

    Bear Hug

    • Southern Fried.
  • Space Cube

    Sessions

    • Force Inc. Music Works.
  • Evil Activities

    Violence Silence

    • Cloud 9 Dance.
  • Masters at Work

    Work

    • Work.
  • Ramsey & Fen & Lyndsey Moore

    Love Bug

    • Maelstrom.
  • Toddla T

    Take It Back (2 Bears Remix)

    • Ninja Tune.
  • Underworld

    Born Slippy

    • Born Slippy.
    • Junior Boy's Own.
  • S’Express

    Theme From S-Express

    • Now 12 (Various Artists).
    • Now.
  • 808 State

    Pacific State

    • CDR.
  • A Guy Called Gerald

    Voodoo Ray

    • EMI.
  • Hardfloor

    Acperience 1

    • Moonshine Music.
  • Phuture

    Acid Trax

  • Rhythim Is Rhythim

    Strings Of Life

    • Transmat.
  • Plastikman

    S*****k

    • Novamute.
  • Orange Juice

    Rip It Up

  • Nicky Romero

    Generation303

    • Musical Freedom.
  • Zatox

    Check Out The Drop

    • Unite.
  • Our Mutual Friend

    Rhino

  • Alex Metric

    Rave Weapon

    • OWSLA.

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