Listen to A-Trak’s new 10 Seconds Vol 1 EP, made entirely on a vintage E-mu SP-1200

“The classic drum machine that defined the sound of so many records that I grew up loving”

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While many of us spent the COVID-19 lockdown making bread and working on the garden, A-Trak found it the perfect time to fix his broken E-mu SP-1200 sampler and make a record with it— and nothing else.

The title of 10 Seconds Vol.1 is a reference to the overall sampling time on the SP-1200 being just 10 seconds, though that was more than enough to revolutionise the world of sampling upon its release in the 1980s.

In this two-part EP, A-Trak transforms short snippets of jazzy, funky tracks into raw house beats that the artist says are best enjoyed “dirty and loud.”

“The classic drum machine that defined the sound of so many records that I grew up loving,” wrote A-track in an Instagram post, “from Pete Rock to Mannie Fresh to Kenny Dope to Alan Braxe… It’s a stubborn machine, suuuuper [sic] limited in sample time, and in functions. But it sounds incredible and forces you to be creative.”

The world-renowned DJ and producer claims to have found a “sort of hidden” command that can alter the decay time of all samples on the machine. He deploys this technique in the EPs third track, Sling Shot.

A-Trak has published several short clips to Instagram demonstrating how he programmed and played the SP-1200. Check out a few below.

10 Seconds Vol.1 is a fitting tribute to those influences, from the old school club-inspired Spit and Bubble Guts, to the markedly more aggressive Sling Shot and the pulsing Bee Bop.

Listen to the EP in full below.

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