808 State

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Ian
Posts: 35
Joined: 09 Apr 2002 01:00
Location: Liverpool
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808 State

Post by Ian » 16 Oct 2002 13:20

Here is my opinion, for what it’s worth. When I was a nipper, 808 State came along with the Pacific 707 single, which charted at about number 10 (I think). I was a teenager and thought it was a great record. I bought 90 on MC and became obsessed. Then 808 State released the Extended Pleasure of Dance EP, followed by the Cubik:Olympic 12”, both of which I bought and played to death. I realised at this point that 808 State were shit hot. On the strength of these releases, I bought the Pacific 12”, Quadrastate, and Newbuild. If you look back between 1988 and 1990, 808 State did not release a single bad record:

Newbuild LP
Quadrastate mini-LP
Pacific 12”
90 LP
EP of Dance EP
Cubik:Olympic 12”

Newbuild as you know, was twisted cutting edge detroit techno/acid house. Quadrastate included the track that would catapult 808 State into the limelight and become what many people regard as the best dance record ever (it is in most people’s top 10 greatest records of all time). The version on Quadrastate is in my opinion the best track they ever made and is in my top 5 of all time. I was hooked. At one point I would listen to the radio, wishing that every record that came on would be an 808 State record. For me, this was 808 State at their peak. They were without a doubt the best dance act ever and no-one else came close at the time. 90, the EP of dance and Cubik:Olympic paved the way for the success of Ex:El.

What followed that period between 1998 and 1990, was a string of good albums. Ex:El, Gorgeous, and Don Solaris are all good albums. People will argue until the end of time about which one they think is best but for me, they are all good in their own way and for different reasons.

Today, I think 808 State make interesting music. It is no longer dance music, although the influence is obviously there. By following their own instincts they have cultivated their own individual sound. It’s not Detroit techno, house, drum and bass, trance or nu-jazz-broken-beat-2-step. It’s just what it is.

I am still interested in what 808 do, but it’s not the same as it was and I don’t think it ever will be. But maybe that’s a good thing. And that’s not to say I won’t be listening when the new album comes out, I hope it’s successful. Maybe the new album will signal a return to Graham’s jazz-rock roots and Darren and Andy’s Hip-Hop roots?

Whatever, I won’t forget how much those records meant to me in the early days. Although I think there is better music out there today than some of 808 ‘s recent efforts, I’ll always remember the influence they had on me and when the new album comes out I’ll be all ears.

Long live 808 State

8)

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