Many know the drum machine as a staple of hip hop and pop music, from ’80s tracks like Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock” to modern productions like Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak. But drum machines have had a longer history in the music world, and 808 State’s Graham Massey discusses this history on Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone, BBC6 Music’s great weekly experimental music show.
The program covers the history of drum machines from early uses by Sly and the Family Stone, Timmy Thomas, and Robin Gibbs, and moves on to cover creative ’80s tracks like Adrian Sherwood’s Tackhead. The show aired last Sunday on BBC6 Music, but it’s still available for streaming on BBC iPlayer. But hurry – it’s only up for two more days.