SOUND OF 808 STATE
Album Review of:
by 808 STATE
(ZTT/ Salvo SALVOMDCD051 Element 20, 2011)
‘We are the Music-Makers and the Dreamer of Dreams…’
There was a time, and not so very long ago, when a band could be something other than a commercial brand for merchandising product. They could be musicians doing interesting things. It doesn’t really matter what 808 State look like. They could do the massive dance-floor things when the fancy took them. But they’d be highly unlikely candidates for the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ house. The original Manchester trio was Graham Massey (the only consistent member), with Martin Price (owner of ‘Eastern Bloc Records’) and ‘A Guy Called Gerald’ Simpson. The latter two later replaced by Andrew Barker and Darren Partington. They were faster-than-a-neutrino at picking up on the first implications of Chicago House, and fusing it to avant-electronica. Thus creating a zone where prehensile pulses shimmer, warp and quake in and out of sharp-edged beat-scapes.
Theirs were industrial-funk grooves pioneering acid strategies – or blueprints, to be decoded and developed by other techno-head experimentalists such as Aphex Twin, Orbital, Chemical Brothers or Prodigy. Here, their debut dance-floor-filler “Flow Coma” comes as a slip-slithering Aphex Twin 2001 remix, with strangulated treated-voices lost in harshly abrasive shoot-‘em-up game-machine acid bleeps. Followed by further contributions from Simian, a Brian Eno Radio Mix, Manic James Dean Bradfield (with a 1996 EP-collaboration on the ethereal “Lopez” with Nicky Wire lyrics), plus lazy-voiced guest-vocals from Elbow-&-XFM presenter Guy Garvey on “Lemonsoul”, and ZTT (Zang Tuum Tumb)’s Trevor Horn on the opulent movie-stretch “Plan Nine”. Bjork collaborates with her usual spooky distinctiveness on the 1991 “Qmart”.
Originally featured on website:
(UK – November 2011)