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It's 303 Day - Celebrating the Acid Legacy

Today is March third, or 3/03. Among fans of acid house and techno, it's an annual day to celebrate all things with squelch, after the legendary sound of Roland's TB-303 bassline synthesizer. And we couldn't pass up the opportunity to share a few favorite acid tracks. Before we get started, however, make sure to check out Puremagnetik Retro Synths (part of Live 9 Suite and Standard) for TeeBee, a multisampled TB-303 that captures the essence of the filter, envelope, and velocity states of the original. Listen to TeeBee in action:

Looking back at the history of acid, let's start with Phuture's "Acid Tracks", often cited as the classic Chicago cut that birthed acid house:

While Chicago was innovating with acid house, across the world, Bollywood film composer Charanjit Singh had developed his own style of acid in 1982. Featuring traditional Indian ragas on cutting-edge synthesizers, Charanjit's music has recently resurfaced with a deluxe reissue of his album, Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat. Here's "Raga Bhupali":

Once acid house took off, its popular center spread from Chicago across the Atlantic to England. Manchester-based 808 State (including, in its initial lineup, A Guy Called Gerald) pushed things forward with "Flow Coma":

In the 90s, acid often took on a rougher edge, with the use of distortion pedals (try Overdrive or Amp in Live for a similar effect). Here's "Higher State of Consciousness", a classic stormer from Josh Wink:

Meanwhile, in the US, Chicago and Detroit continued to innovate with a similarly harder and spacier acid techno sound. Listen to "The Final Frontier", from Detroit's Underground Resistance collective:

Acid continues to influence tracks and dance floors today, as this recent cut from Alien Rain demonstrates:

Now it's time for you to add your contribution - check out Retro Synths for TeeBee, a multisampled TB-303 instrument.

Bonus track: the TB-303 was originally designed as a computerized bass player to accompany rock musicians. Here it is used as a bass synth for Orange Juice's post-punk classic, "Rip It Up":