808 State - "On Band - State Of The Art"
16th September 1989
Page: 12

If you've only been to one club this summer, chances are you've probably shaken your botty to the bolshy bassline of 'Pacific State'.

It's a delirious affair brought to you courtesy of 808 STATE. Born in the rainy suburbs of Manchester and barely 18 months old, 808 State is the love child of Graham Massey, reluctant boffin and innovator and Martin Price, self appointed motormouth and entrepreneur.

Soon to join the ranks of this motley crew were Andy and Darren, an incorrigible pair of likely lads boasting a veritable goldmine of fresh talent and an insatiable appetite for music. Slagging their way into the outfit with a stunning demo, the DJs were quickly signed up before anyone else could get their mucky paws on them.

They are supremely confident in their own capabilities, and rightly so– the pair were spinning and mixing when the rest of their peer group were still tied to their mother's apron. "We actually started at the Salvation Army," confesses Andy, grinning sheepishly. "We were resident DJs at their youth club."

The duo are now regular attractions at North Manchester's Thunderdome, where much of 808's market research is done. "When we're DJing we watch what makes the crowd move," explains Darren. "We use the crowd as a barometer for what's going on and we usually slip in a tape of our tracks to gauge the reaction."

Three months before 'Pacific State' even hit vinyl Darren and Andy were playing the track to the Thunderdome faithful who were literally "going mad for the sound".

A formidable team of attitude, talent and business nous, 808 State are bound to succeed, already boasting a radiant reputation for producing, mixing and creating bold, brash dance tracks.

Safe in the knowledge there are thousands of people out there who just want to dance, 808 State are only too willing to comply to the laws of supply and demand. "Record companies find it difficult to understand the concept, that we record, engineer and produce everything ourselves – and that we wouldn't have it any other way," explains Martin. "We do music and business from gut feeling – so if our immediate reaction is 'it's crap' then that's it, bye, bye!"

Their slap dash style and format borders on the verge of disorganised chaos – building over a boss sample, and usually dumping the original flavour. "As an outfit we can do remixes ten to the penny, all we're doing is messing around – that's what we're best at," comes the casual explanation.

"We're chucking in four different ideas, four different realities and out of that explodes one thing. We get into the studio, we get the feel for it and then we work round that. It's very temperamental our music, it goes with the flow. You feel it, you don't think about it."

Mandi James (picture: Peter Walsh)