‘Hey Dad, gimme that 808…
Words: ES STAFF
This super-cute picture just popped up the other day on Instagram. It’s Ryuichi Sakamoto working out some dope beats on his Roland TR-808, while his daughter, Miu tries to muscle in on the action. She was born in 1980, which dates this picture to around 1982, two years after the drum machine’s launch, but just pre-909 (1983). Sakamoto could have been working on ‘The Arrangement’, an EP with Robin Scott of M, or ‘The End Of Asia’. We hope this is the same machine he used on the ‘B-2 Unit’, which included the proto-electro track ‘Riot In Lagos’. We’re going to assume it is. Maybe it was also used on the 1981 YMO album ‘Technodelic’, and maybe he was composing for ‘Naughty Boys’, which they started recording in October of 1982 .
Miu Sakamoto says that her uncle sent her the picture, which she’d never seen before. She went on to forge her own successful solo career, and is the voice of the Yamaha Vocaloid software. Let that be a warning to any of you out there with children who are being exposed to the analogue sounds of electronic music via vintage gear.