808 Time Machine

Discuss 808 State and related.

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Pete
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808 Time Machine

Post by Pete » 08 Jun 2004 22:41

its about time we had a discussion, so i just thought of this for a laugh!

if you could go back into the past and change 808's direction, where would you go etc?

a couple from me would be :

1, MARCH 91 - after the success of EX:EL & the G-Mex, NOT release OOOPS and then LIFT. (not saying there bad but sales and fan base dropped after those singles). OPEN YOUR MIND would've done better as an A-side.

2, JUN 93 - NOT release 10x10 (probably their poorest single ever)!

come on people give us some comments!

SteveC
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Post by SteveC » 09 Jun 2004 12:02

Well 808 did take a commercial stance on their single releases, which seemed to digress from the quality of material found on albums and remix work.

For me the downside was the release of Don Solaris, a certain missed opportunity in marketing terms. A white cover which hid the artists work and glossiness of its features, not releasing Joyrider as a single which would have crossed many boundaries and have propelled the album to a greater audience and Lopez which should have been released earlier in place of Azura.

David
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Post by David » 09 Jun 2004 17:52

I don't really go along with this in life.

You do things at a moment in time which you think are the best.You could spend all day saying you should do this or that.
As the saying goes we all have honours degrees in hindsight.

Azura and Ooops are excellent songs and if they failed to top the charts-tough luck on all those people who missed out.

I feel alot of hangers-on just grew tired of the dance scene around 1992 and 1993 when it became more hardcore thus ruining the lovey happy vibe.The arrival of Oasis and others was a breath of fresh air for many pseuds even though these bands were mediocre.

I think 808 were tagged with the dance scene.I was listening to The Farm the other day.Great summer tunes and well they were lumped in with Madchester and as soon as that died in 1991 the Farm were nowhere.
Their 1992 song 'Love see no colour' is a great song but was ignored.

Rodders
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Post by Rodders » 09 Jun 2004 18:42

i think in place of '10x10' they should have released 'insane lover', also the 2FL track should DEFINITELY had a proper 808 release, even if still on promo.

Mark
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Post by Mark » 09 Jun 2004 21:52

I think Ooops, although a great track was a poorly timed release, it was ahead of its time and I don't think the record buying public were ready for it. That sounds stupid, as it makes 808 cutting edge for thier time which they no doubt were, however on the back of Cubik / In Yer Face perhaps something more uptempo would have been a better bet for sales, if thats what the guys were looking for, perhaps not selling out and having some credibility was more important, and of course making the music they wanted to. I respect them for that.

Gorgeous for me, although great in parts was a bit of a let down upon its release and I think that killed a bit of the fan base off, its my least fave 808 album overall and despite some really good tracks I rarely listen to it in its entirity.

Don Solaris was for me, a return to form and represented the 808 we know and love, the only problem was it was a little late in coming and effectively a lot of people had forgotten 808. I don't think it was promoted heavily enough and despite the excellent singles failed to make much of an impact on the charts. Perhaps for the radio stations who are responsible for airplay 808 were yesterdays news. The success of Lopez with Mr Bradfield whose band were enjoying major fame highlights this.

I don't really care that 808 make little chart impression nowadays and I suppose it depends on what the artist cares about, although obviously money from sales is what the labels look for, I think the respect 808 have in the 'fraternity' is much more of a testament to their quality.

Everyones makes mistakes, but you have to know where you've been to know where you are going and yes in my opinion 808 have made mistakes with releases, but it depends on what you are looking for? Chart success or not selling out and resisting releasing trash that will sell.

Phew, now I've got that off my chest, I'll have another few listens to saxasalt, great track Markus/Graham keep em' coming!

Boodabang
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Post by Boodabang » 10 Jun 2004 04:13

It's odd for me to hear everyone talking about 808 being on the charts since in America that never happened. Every now and then I would come across an "alternative" radio station devoting an hour or so to "techno" music and they would trumpet the release of a new 808 single. But that's about it. Mainstream music in America is absolutely appalling.

Being an 808 State fan here in the states has been a quiet love affair. I have yet to encounter another person who kows about 808 State other than specific friends who spent time in the club scene with me.

How would I change 808's direction? I would point them in my direction.

graham
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Post by graham » 18 Jun 2004 11:04

I have similar views in retrospect,(but thats always easy and I must admit to a fair share of these odd decisions,I definately championed Lift as a single
I always thought cobra bora coud have stood a chance ,,it was sometime s played at Hot night at the Hacienda dispite its funny time signiture.
We seemed to have greater faith in B sides in those days (cubik was a B side)
I do think Open your mind was a strong track,and Ski family sounded stong when played out,,I guess there was still a gulf between what we thought would sit on Radio one and what would fit in a dj set,Thing is Djs by 91 92
had straightend out a lot,you would have to have made very format orientated records,(there were obviously exeptions(papau new guinea for one) Trouble is once you start addressing these issues along side your ow n personel tastes(which of coarse varied between us)you end up with some of the Frankenstien records of that period,add in slightly bigger recording budgets to endlessly mess with remixing them,now add in some input from the guys at Tommy Boy saying you have to address East coast west coast issues ( and what I thought were some dodgey US remixes,Are any of them any good in retrospect...? discuss) We did get a bit lost after Ex el ,
WE did how ever try very hard to re address that on Don Solaris and had some pretty good A and R from a guy called Neal at Ztt,In that he was comfortable to argue with and we needed that a good sounding board outside the group.
Another factor I would change in retrospect would be to keep control of the studio enviroment by that I mean engineering,up until ex el that was the case
But with bigger budgets we could now afford outside help in this area and we ended up working in those big 80s SSL studios(SSL is a posh mixing desk with a very smooth distinctive sound very ZTT) Before I was engineering a little more agresively(less by the book butI feel with more musical conection,which
you might notice on Ex el on Cubik,In your Face .and olympic.
I would love to readdress some of that stuff one day ,Yet its hard to get that exact vibe that the early stuff had you d have to be scientfic about it,
Any track from 90 lets say was tracked at spirit on a TAC Scorpian (fat and
not to bright desk)to 16 track analogue 1 inch tape (Again Fat sounding rare groove format) transfered to 2 inch tape,mixed through another rare groove amek G series desk (one of 2 ever built) using tasty out board of the day
(lexicon 448s,and some posh akg reverb which you could probably buy a small house for) all masterd on to 1/4 inch analogue tape and edited really badly with dull razor blades.
In yer face was infact only half way edited when I went on Holiday for two weeks
the tapes got collected by accident and pressed up.
Somethings are really obvious in retrospect ,like when trying to make hard sounding big sounding records we just piled more sound on to the track
when what you really need is more space..(cue timebomb/lambrusco)
But dont get me wrong I love the mistakes more than I should,I will have the gorgeous disco 12 on in the car and take perverse pleasure in its camphorror
There was a mini lp by farley jack master funk ,one side was early acid and the otherside was like supermarket music,the supermarket side had such an influence on some of us like a touch stone(we new it should nt but itdid)
resulting in this limp risted neutral vacume sound of the future..a comp of it would include Nbambi,Disco state,Lift,sexy dancer,Round bum mary.
why do we do that ? coz Plastic is good and you need to take your pills now!

SnowLeopardess
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Post by SnowLeopardess » 20 Jun 2004 00:56

Boodabang wrote: Being an 808 State fan here in the states has been a quiet love affair. I have yet to encounter another person who kows about 808 State other than specific friends who spent time in the club scene with me.

I'm a fan and an American!! But, alas, as you have well said it's hard to find other American 808 fans.

Boodabang
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Post by Boodabang » 22 Jun 2004 04:59

graham wrote:add in some input from the guys at Tommy Boy saying you have to address East coast west coast issues ( and what I thought were some dodgey US remixes,Are any of them any good in retrospect...? discuss)
I've found that there has always been a dearth of anything but Cubik here in the U.S. No matter where I was, flipping through the 808 12-inch bin at the local record store would uncover one Cubik mix after another. It annoyed me because no one seemed to realize that Cubik was just the tip of the iceberg.

As far as "East Coast/West Coast" issues...it seems funny that Tommy Boy would try and pin that on you since what makes 808 so eternally great is that you transcend "issues". I remember the first time I listened to 808, I had just purchased Utd. State 90 and popped it into my cassette player as I drove away from the music store. I knew the second I heard the first few measures of Pacific that I had stumbled across something truly rare. I listened to nothing but that album for months.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder what Tommy Boy's image was like in England. They had a rather hodge-podge line up over here but they had more of a hip-hop/rap flavor than anything else. Nevertheless...God bless them for Utd. State 90!

Oh, and btw...
graham wrote:the supermarket side had such an influence on some of us like a touch stone
That's precisely why my best friend and I loved Lift so much...it was elevator music with a beat you could groove to.

joeskeys
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Post by joeskeys » 27 Jun 2004 03:23

Another US 808 fan. Discovered them in '98. Got 808:88:98 as my first pickup. A full-length album release between Don Solaris and Outpost Transmission would have been nice. As for the material itself, I don't really have any objections.

Supraset
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Post by Supraset » 08 Sep 2004 20:43

Back in 94 everyone I knew in the States knew of 808 State... but maybe just the company I kept.

But I remember opening a bank account in the early 90's must've been 92 before Gorgeous and the teller asked me for a four digit pin and of course I said "808... ummm 0". And the teller looked at me and said "ahhh you're a big 808 State fan ehhh". She was straight bank type person probably in her later 20's at the time. Would never have pegged her to be a fan but she was as well.

Then I remember my girlfriend in college she was from completely different part of the state and she had EX:EL and Gorgeous in her collection. And then I moved across country and all of my new friends I've made know of 808 State again maybe just the company I keep.

But I think after Gorgeous they tried to release State to State via the website and only to members on the site... so at this point they kind of lost me even though I was on the internet.... Don Solaris had them back but was a little disappointing even having the great tracks like Bond and Lopez.

I think we have discussed this before but I'd like 808 State to commit and say next album we are totally going to lead electronic music to a whole new level... like they did with UTD State and EX:El. Those albums I still listen to today and not many compare to them. Even Gorgeous was the same the whole album was a joy to listen to... not just a few select tracks but the whole album was great from start to finish. In fact it was best to just start from the beginning and listen the entire way through.

On Don Solaris and OT I find myself skipping around a lot... listening to just a few select tracks. I'd like another album that is still 808 State in sound but redefined... like most great artists do.

And btw thanks for the post Graham, I love hearing from you

David
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Post by David » 08 Sep 2004 22:05

[David runs to the bank to change his pin number]

solarex
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Post by solarex » 09 Sep 2004 11:29

Supraset wrote:But I remember opening a bank account in the early 90's must've been 92 before Gorgeous and the teller asked me for a four digit pin and of course I said "808... ummm 0". And the teller looked at me and said "ahhh you're a big 808 State fan ehhh". She was straight bank type person probably in her later 20's at the time. Would never have pegged her to be a fan but she was as well.
He he, 8080 PINs seems common.

I once pressed the button for a queue-tag at the post office. It read 809 and I regreted that I stopped on the way in reading a poster or something.

But, when I was finished I looked in the tray at the counter next to me. Found the 808 tag that the lady who came first had placed there. Picked it up and said goodbye. The staff was wondering quite a bit I could see.

I believe I still have it in the 808 binder.

Rich The Donkey Doctor
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Post by Rich The Donkey Doctor » 09 Sep 2004 19:05

Top respect to Graham for that candid response...it just makes me love 808 even more. Gorgeous was the only major disappointment for me, but I still wish 808 would turn their hand to some darker dancefloor tracks. There's nothing wrong with conforming a bit in my opinion...it beats obscurity. I still think these tracks would have a distinctive 808 flavour...Leftfield and the Chems did it...why cant 808?

SteveC
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Post by SteveC » 09 Sep 2004 20:15

Im sure 808 could make some great tracks suitable for the dancefloor, but thats not their forte, although the closest they came was probably with La Luz, which I gave the DJ to play constantly in a previous night club job.

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