808 STATE808:88:98ZTT

Regardless of what drivel I manage to conjure up in this tiny space (wasting away already) I will never quite capture in essence my burning passion for the music of 808 State. It's a personal thing, but one we can fortunately now all share as that funny old thing called the passing of time has spewed up (and I mean that in the beautiful sense) a retrospective of British acid house/techno/Meccano general all round electronic musique. Well it might as well be. You see the beauty of 808 State is that with sublime subtlety, stealth and sheer talent they have refined and moulded what has commonly become known as UK dance culture.

As many mediates have acknowledged, the whole shebang kicked off some ten years ago with a jilted generation finally finding purpose somewhere in a field off the M25, accompanied by you know what (think of a letter) and 9 times out of 10 the only acid house track to possess a full-on freeform melody (incredible as it may seem), the sax-o-phonic, bliss-tering all time classic Pacific  (here in original 707 and `98 modes), TRUE acid jazz! Or failing that the only acid house track to feature electric guitar (it's Cubik and it works).


These rave anthems plus hoity-Detroity Kraft works (Olympic, Lift), dark, menacing industrial might and magic (In Yer Face, Cobra Bora), dub-wise breakbeat workouts (the UB40-fied One In Ten) and dreamy ambient abstraction (Ooops - the track that provided Bjork's vehicle for global success, Plan 9 and last year's stunning Azura) all combine to create a magical soundtrack to the crazy days and hardcore nights of 90's dance culture in Blighty.
Far more advanced, out there and masterly than you may ever give them credit, inspiring anyone and everyone in your collection who even so much as leered at techno's cleavage in the last ten years. Of course not everyone will get it, not everyone will want it (especially the dodgy new track Crash - a pointless inclusion at the expense of better material from the early years) but for those who do you can now have a taste of the North at it's heights. Although it's worth seeking out their other works as well for a deeper insight into just why I'm makin' such a fuss. Gorgeous mate!

Now what else but...8(08) out of 10!

Steve Mannion

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