Hear 808 State's Graham Massey on the history of the drum machine for BBC 6 Music

A brief history of keeping time.

On the latest edition of The Freak Zone, BBC 6 Music’s excellent weekly show unearthing experimental music and forgotten sounds from across the decades, presenter Stuart Maconie was joined by 808 State founder and veteran producer Graham Massey to talk about drum machines.

As the name of his own outfit suggests, Massey is a fount of knowledge on mechanical percussion in all forms, and here he gives a brief history of the drum machine from its beginnings in time keeping to its creative use by Sly and the Family Stone, Robin Gibb and Miles Davis, including some ace tracks by Timmy Thomas and Adrian Sherwood’s sample pioneers Tackhead.

Head to BBC iPlayer to hear the show – but be quick, you’ve only got two days left to catch it.

FACT recently had a snoop inside Joe Mansfield’s vast collection of drum machines and, to coincide with Roland’s revival of its classic machine, compiled a beginner’s guide to the TR-808.



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