Celebrating the Roland revolution:

Celebrating the Roland revolution:The 303 and 606 are back in vinyl form

Despite being widely misunderstood when first released in 1981, the Roland TB-303 Bass Line Synthesizer and TR-606 Drumatix transformed into enduring icons, ultimately shaping the foundation of electronic music culture forever. Over four decades ago, the silver siblings revolutionized the scene with their disruptive tones. Now, in celebration of 303-Day, Serato and Roland proudly announce a special 12-inch double pressing – an invitation for DJs to tap into their legendary, other-worldly sounds today.

Click here to see the list of retailers.

The Double Pressing:

Blending the Past and the Present

The release does more than pay homage to the musical icons of the past; it also redefines them for a new era. J. Rocc aptly describes the release as, “A trip back in time, but also relevant to today’s scene.”

This double pressing is a visual and auditory spectacle, offering a tale of two narratives swirled in a marbled and translucent vinyl that catches the light just so. The first record is a love letter to the iconic bass lines of the 303, while the second record celebrates the pulsating drum beats of the 606 – both expertly created by an ensemble of DJs’ favorite DJs: J. Rocc, Fast Eddie, Shadow Child, and DJ Haus. The flip side of each record offers the Serato control tones for purists. 

Cover of Roland 303/606 vinyl
Roland 303 and 606 vinyl on turntables

Harmonizing perfectly, each record boasts meticulously crafted tracks with complementary BPMs, designed for flawless synchronization when played together—made to blend with your existing record collection and integrate seamlessly with tracks in your DJ software.

The result? A visually stunning and sonically powerful collection that arms DJs with the power to channel the finesse of the greats, now in a marbled and translucent form that’s as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the ears.

DJ at a turntable with visually stunning lighting

Design Meets Legacy

A vinyl where design meets legacy, featuring a stunning marbled and translucent look that visually echoes the groundbreaking TB-303 and TR-606. The jacket and labels are beautifully detailed with the machines’ minimalist circuitry, transforming this record into a piece of art. It’s a bold statement in vinyl design, offering a tactile and visual experience that’s as innovative as the sounds these machines pioneered.

Inside the Covers

The first vinyl in this set is an homage to the TB-303’s legendary bass lines, reinterpreted by Hip-House legend, Fast Eddie, and DJ Haus who inject new life into these classic sounds. Fast Eddie sums up his experience working on the pressing, “It’s like being a scientist… you’re working on a project and just adding stuff, seeing what happens.”

Roland 303/606 vinyl

“You can either leave the floor or get into the groove with these beats – that’s the power they have.”

J. Rocc

Flip to the second vinyl, and you’ll find the TR-606’s timeless drum patterns, reinvented by Shadow Child and one of the original turntablists, J. Rocc. This record captures the ongoing influence of the TR-606, showcasing how its beats continue to resonate in today’s electronic music landscape. “You can either leave the floor or get into the groove with these beats – that’s the power they have,” says J. Rocc.

The control tone side of each vinyl is where history meets modernity. These tones are a nod to the tactile authenticity of vinyl DJing, seamlessly integrating with the precision of digital technology. It’s a feature that eloquently speaks to the release’s commitment to preserving musical heritage while embracing the future.

Crafting the Double Pressing:

Artists’ Perspectives

At the heart of this special vinyl project lies a deep respect and admiration among the artists involved. In creating this double pressing, each artist delved deep into the essence of the TB-303 and TR-606 reliving the magic of what initially drew them to the machines in the first place.

J. Rocc

J. Rocc, reflecting on his collaboration, couldn’t hide his excitement: “This project was a dream come true, especially to work on something related to Fast Eddie. It’s an honor to add a little to some Fast Eddie 303 basslines.”

DJ J. Rocc

“This project made me feel like I was back in the early days of Chicago house,” he shared. His goal? To ensure his beats were “true to the spirit of the original 606.”

Drawing inspiration for his drumlines, he tapped into the essence of classic house music. “The 606 is one of those classic house drum machines, very influential for me growing up,” he explained. Paying homage to the pioneers, he added, “One of my tracks, I redid a Mantronix vibe beat, and one was just a straight Adonis Chicago Trax House type of beat.” This blending of past and present in J. Rocc’s work is more than just a musical technique; it’s a bridge connecting generations, a celebration of the genre’s evolution, and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Roland machines.

DJ Fast Eddie

Fast Eddie

Fast Eddie, a legendary figure in the Chicago house music scene, brings a unique perspective to the project. Reflecting on his first encounter with the Roland 303, he says, “When I first heard it, it was just this off the wall sound, just different from playing on a basslines or keyboard or anything.”

He was particularly influenced by DJ Pierre’s ‘I’ve Lost Control.’ “That sound… it was something else,” Fast Eddie recalls, his words painting a vivid picture of the inspiration he drew from these early experiences. His creative process involved playing with the 303’s capabilities, “I had a bassline planted in my head… but then now you messing with the 303. Being able to tweak the parameters and everything, ain’t no telling what you’re gonna come out with it. That’s what made it beautiful.”

Shadow Child

Shadow Child adds context to his early experiences with these machines: “The 606 was the first drum machine I got my hands on when I was 11 or 12… I was very privileged to experience that at such a young age.”

DJ Shadow Child

He reflects on what exactly makes these machines so timeless. “It’s limitation and simplicity… that’s the beauty of it. And that’s often what gets forgotten now you can make music with as many plugins as you like – it’s all to do with how powerful your computer is and what it can do. Whereas these machines were built to have a little bit of a limitation.”

An Enduring Legacy

The legacy of the Roland 303 and 606 transcends their initial purpose, evolving from overlooked novelties to revered icons in music history. These machines not only reshaped the musical landscape but also emboldened artists to defy norms and innovate. As J. Rocc aptly puts it, they gave people ‘the courage to make their own stuff,’ breaking conventions and redefining the essence of music production. 

Today, the spirit of the 303 and 606 lives on, influencing a new generation of music creators. DJ Lauren Flax notes, “Younger generations are using newer technology, but when you add classic machines like the 303, it adds another layer.”

“I hope my beats on this record remind people of the era when it was just about the drum machine and the bassline.”

J. Rocc

They continue to inspire DJs and producers to blend the past and future, crafting beats that resonate with the raw, authentic energy of these legendary machines. This special vinyl release is a bridge connecting different eras of music, embodying the revolutionary spirit that the 303 and 606 ignited in the world of electronic music. J. Rocc sums it up, “I hope my beats on this record remind people of the era when it was just about the drum machine and the bassline.” 

Want to hear these sounds for yourself? Check out J. Rocc’s 303 mix inspired by the pressing.

Where to buy:

To get your hands on these records, please contact one of the retailers listed below. Availability may vary, so reach out to your closest retailer directly to find out when stock will be ready for you.

Back to the top.