The internet just came together in a celebration of vintage drum machines and vaguely sporty footwear. The Adidas Neely Air Roland TR-808 sneakers would cut some serious sway with the kids down the skate park, but they are not real! They are not “fully functional”, can’t “make music” and do not have a “built-in TR-808 Drum Machine” – what’s the matter with people?
Adidas TR-808 fantasy
Neely and Daughters are a marketing company, a digital content agency, who were challenged by Mi Adidas to develop a custom prototype. They came up with a shoe that rips off the Roland styling and palette of the classic TR-808 drum machine. But not only that. These shoes make beats. Inside there are six different pre-programmed settings “so you can recreate your favourite scenes from Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” (that’s Breakdance 2 if you live outside of America).
Except they don’t because they don’t exist! There is no TR-808 drum machine shoe. It doesn’t have beats in it. Why 6? Why 6 pre-programmed “settings” as they call it (oh, the laces – I get it). The volume knob on the strap is not real, neither is the ridiculous Start/Stop button on the laces. Because THEY DO NOT EXIST!
According to the Neely website:
Though they never hit the production line (the “Just for Kicks” creative challenge – pun intended – was custom design and prototype only), the shoes won accolades and fans around the globe.
Which also indicates they did this some time ago and our industry is only just catching on. We’re rubbish!
Well, rumour has it that Puma is working on some 909 flip flops, with accent triggers in the heel. Nike have their eye on a Simmons endorsement for instant 80’s electro tom rolls whenever you put your foot down. My daughter has some Star Wars trainers that flash and give off Vader breathing sounds as she stomps around and I’m pretty sure they came from ShoeZone – that’s where the genuine innovation is happening.
So come on electronic music world, do we really want to dress in the style and colours of our favourite music device? Unless of course, you’re Reggie Watts and he can do anything he wants.