|Submit To The Beat: Talkback - 808 State|
19th August 1989
808 STATE are the Manchester techno outfit who release records at the speed of digital technology and used to number 'Voodoo Ray' hero A Guy Called Gerald Simpson amongst their ranks. Their records this year to date, the acid mini-LP 'New Build', followed by the 'Let Yourself Go' and 'Massage-A-Rama' 12-inch singles, have plotted a singular course with repeat references to German electronic noise and hard Detroit house. Now, with the release of their second mini-LP 'Quadrastate' on the Creed label, 808 State are finally defining their own identity. The tracks are pure technology mixed with the sort of exotic but relaxed atmospherics that Marcus Miller created for Miles Davis' 'Tutu' album; the finest moment 'Pacific State' encircling a juddering 808 beat with layers of ethereal flute.
808 State mouthpiece and Eastern Bloc record shop owner Martin's voice is as far from ethereal as you could imagine. Fresh from a live gig at Hippo's in Middleton the night before, his guttural tones are outlining future recording plans. "'Quadrastate' is old stuff now," he says.
"The best track, 'Pacific State', we did with A Guy Called Gerald ages ago." After the departure of Gerald from their ranks it transpires that a host of major labels are chasing Martin and partner Graham, amongst them, Trevor Horn's ZTT outfit.
"We've got a whole LP of up-to-date, more radical stuff ready," continues Martin. "It's a lot more 'souly', but with a hardcore dance side - a cross between US house and Euro electronic, state-of-the-art stuff." A track from the group also appears on the Manchester Indie house compilation 'Freak Beats', a project that the outspoken, abrasive Martin Is keen to dismiss: "I hate the Indie connection with dance music," he spits.
As 808 State progress inevitably towards major acclaim on the cutting edge of club music, only the strong-hearted would dare raise their voices in disagreement.