EXCLUSIVE: In a first of its kind release, Atlantic Films — a division of Atlantic Records — and You Know Films is debuting its critically acclaimed documentary 808 worldwide exclusively on Apple Music and iTunes later this year. The film which premiered at SXSW and features some of the biggest names in music, will also simultaneously drop in select theaters in the U.S. at the time it becomes available on Apple Music and iTunes.
“I’m very proud on behalf of the whole You Know Films team to see ‘808′ find its release on Apple Music,” said You Know Films’ CEO Alex Noyer. “For our film to be offered as their first narrative music documentary is very humbling. The 808 continues to make history.”
The film chronicles the story of the Roland TR-808 drum machine which influenced and changed the course of music. The film features commentary and contributions from such superstars as Pharrell Williams, Afrika Bambaataa, Questlove, The Beastie Boys, Damon Albarn, David Guetta, Phil Collins, Diplo, New Order, and Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), as well as pioneering producers including Rick Rubin, Jellybean Benitez, Hank Shocklee, and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.
“It’s only appropriate that a film about a machine that revolutionized how music is made be seen via a service that revolutionized how music is consumed,” said Craig Kallman, Atlantic Records Chairman & CEO. “The story of how the 808 changed the face of modern music is simply extraordinary, and the Apple Music audience is perfect for this compelling film.”
The feature-length documentary is a You Know Films production in association with Atlantic Films. Noyer both produced and executive produced. Craig Kallman produced. Arthur Baker co-executive produced and produced. Alexander Dunn produced, directed and wrote the film (the story he did with Luke Bainbridge).
The filmmakers spent about three years traveling around the world, interviewing iconic artists and platinum-certified producers who then shared their insights of the impact of the 808. They ended up in Japan and interviewed its creator Ikutaro Kakehashi, who revealed the untold reason for the machine’s early discontinuation, further fueling its legend.
Introduced in 1980, the 808 fueled an age of explosive artistic creation that began with electro, hip-hop, and synthpop but soon erupted into such diverse forms as acid house, techno, drum & bass, and dubstep. More than three decades later, it remains a vital element in contemporary hip-hop and R&B as well as an ever-present influence on the modern EDM and pop music scenes.