Oscar Peterson – techno producer?
The picture below is a scan from an old Roland ad from 1982. It depicts Oscar Peterson on the Roland PianoPlus!, with a Roland TR-606 and TB-303.
It’s pretty ironic how Roland saw the 303 and 606 fitting into music at the time – as a replacement for a bass player and drummer. Of course, these little techno boxes they couldn’t really be further from that, in factthey were a massive contribution the the success of Acid in techno from 1988 onwards.
The pre-acid 303 was used as the bass sound on 80s smooth-soul merchants Imagination’s hits “Body Talk” & “Just An Illusion” from 1982. You can hear them make good use of the glide, doing an imitation of the then-in-vogue fretless bass slide, but alas no filter-tweaking.
I think that Oscar probably realized what these were all about (even if Roland didn’t), as he’s pretty hip to synths. Taken from his website:
“Since the early 1980’s, Oscar has embraced electronic music wholeheartedly in that the tools help him to compose, and especially orchestrate, more quickly and effectively than traditional methods. Oscar has, in his home, a state of the art recording studio and music room that accommodates his keyboards, synthesizers, sequencers and computers, all for the purpose of creating more music.”
If anyone else has any good examples of pre-acid use of the tb303, post them in the comments!