The Machines Behind the Music

808 for hiphop 909 for techno and 707 for the arabic pop

Few things are as distinct as an 808 cowbell 

or a 909 crash 

In the Arab world, however, they adopted a different sibling to those legendary drum-machines: the 707.

Counter to what numbers would suggest, the 707 was released after the 808 and the 909 (released in 1980 and 1983 respectively) in 1985, it wasn't analog but rather sample based with 12 bit drum samples and the only control for those drums was the volume! And it's precisely that lack of adjustment that makes its sounds so familiar to Arab listeners, especially in the context of Arabic pop from the 90s till mid 2000s. 


You see the 707 was cheap, easy to program and punchy. Those were enough reasons to have it be a staple in modern Arabic pop, almost akin to the legendary status of its older siblings.

Below are some tracks that sure will tap into an unexplored memory that use this underrated drum-machine.