"Learning that Roland is now creating lifestyle apparel has got me hyped," Freddie says. "I have one of the original Roland TR-909 machines. It inspires so much of my music and now I'll get to wear that inspiration everywhere I go."
Upon its release in 1983, the Roland TR-909 brought a crisp, fresh approach to drum production that could happen in the comfort of an everyday home. Recognition arrived immediately for its polished, saturated reverb, and convulsive kick drum. The 909 sound, both ferocious and unique, pierced through speakers across the globe. Despite only 10,000 units in circulation in the '80s, the TR-909 drastically changed the dance and house scenes.
Photo by Scott Brio
Freddie Fiers aka Frida Joy is the owner of an original TR-909. The distinguished DJ also helms DMT LBL, a boutique record label focused on house and bass music. Freddie weighs in on the drum machine’s legacy and the statements it’s making in modern music and artistry.
“Around my late '20s, I moved into the house music culture and scene," Freddie says. "It was also around that time that I began my journey as a music producer. I always find myself turning to the 909 sounds and samples for basic elements of my tracks. Then I layer on top of them to create something more original."
Freddie cites a classic track that utilizes the 909. "Look what it did for 'Pump up the Jam’ by Technotronic. It’s iconic how they used the TR-909 for the drums. They really made the 909 what it’s known for today."
Photo by Scott Brio
The Roland TR-909 is more than a piece of equipment. It’s a catalyst in creating vibrant, new music including releases on Freddie’s imprint. "Right now, we are using the TR-909 on DMT LBL's most recent release with David Alec.”
The 909 is still pushing artistic boundaries today. The legendary instrument continues to morph, most recently as part of Roland's Lifestyle brand.
Thanks to artists like Freddie Fiers, music lovers in 2021 get to experience the next generation of TR-909 innovation.