Sexy Synthesizers: 808 State Luxury Re-Issues

808 State are responsible for a number of spinetingling WOW-moments in my life. From the obvious early-morning-club-bliss to some unexpected encounters with a random track at dubious places.

Listening to the then brand new "Ex:El" in its entirety, front-row, top-floor on a public bus speeding through Hong Kong at dusk will always remain etched in the hard-disc of my mind. The sights, the smells, the exitement, the sounds. It´s still there and to this day, the first meandering keyboard sounds of "San Francisco" throw me back into a treasured playback of this memory.
"Here we go! You must follow!"

It is impossible for me to decide if 808 State is still relevant today, or if their work does sound dated or not. The next two albums "Gorgeous" and "Don Solaris" were a bit patchy at times and they never found an anchor in my mind like "90" and "Ex:El". Maybe this was due to the fact that I never heard them in such an exiting environment. Maybe the amazing 808-sound became a bit of a formula, while electronic music exploded in many directions.

The mash-up of "1 in 10" left me cold and by the time they released the excellent "Lopez" off of "Don Solaris" 808 State somehow merged into trip-hop. I always hoped that 808 State would collaborate with Billy MacKenzie, it might have changed the future. Their last album "Outpost Transmission" from 2002 was more or less released without any interest from the record buying public.

Now its the time to re-visit the legacy of one of the best british electronic bands with the "luxury" re-release of all four albums they recorded for ZTT. In time to celebrate the 20th birthday of the band and the 25th year of ZTT´s existence . Also re-released will be "The North at its Heights" the album they produced with MC Tunes.

Every album is re-mastered and comes with a second disc full of bonus material (mixes, live- and unreleased tracks.)

Check the obi-scans for full tracklisting. As for the MC Tunes album: I am waiting for an instrumental version of this otherwise dated rap-album since it was released back in 1990. Sadly the bonus CD is not bound to fulfill this wish to provide this "lost" 808 State album.

The UK-release is scheduled for the last week of september/first week of october. The Japanese Fans, however have been treated to an early release date on 08.08.08

The official website Global State is worth repeated visits for its generous amount of free mp3´s of demos and live tracks. They even offer cover designs for your self-toasted Cds!


Leopold Stotch said...

Oh hells yes. Can hardly wait for the reissues, hopefully with bonus tracks!

I still think most (not all) of 808 is relevant, well maybe not 'relevant' but at least somewhat timeless. I'd probably throw in the other two missing from that trinity, Orbital and Ultramarine. All three don't date very hard cause they weren't too steeped in the electronic trends of the day (i.e. drum and bass, trip hop etc). They all seemed to take bits and pieces of modern work and add their own twist.
Speaking of 808, did you ever hear his Massonix project?

StellaVista said...

Leo, you can see the full tracklisting, including the bonus tracks if you click the scans underneath each cover.

You are certainly right about Orbital in their "golden period" (Brown album, Snivilisation, Insides) after that they lost it (well, lets say they lost me!)
Ultramarine are a pretty mixed bag, imo. I think that "Bel Air" is up there with another 95 seminal album: "Spanners" by Black Dog.
Somehow this period really filled a slot in my mind.

As for Massonix: Have only heard bits and pieces of some tracks. Massey can really be too much for me. Sometimes he just doesn´t know where to stop.