This is where Acid House really shines. The so-called Second Summer Of Love was basically the offspring of hippies who revelled in their own time twenty years after Woodstock as people who attended illegal raves and popped Disco biscuits, dancing all night in the late 1980s. Before the mainstream nightclubs and EDM became a norm, this consistent album was unleashed. What an album it is, so it needs to be covered here, track by track.
Sync/Swim kicks off this album. It begins with TR-808 sounds and a genuinely good track in our ears. The Acid House scene was well renowned for using three Roland machines to create digital tracks: TB-303; TR-808 and TR-909. This is a great example of Roland goodness and (obviously) Rave and drug-induced sounds. A very good listen, and an excellent way to start off this album. Original, artistic and creative. The melodies and percussion are fantastic.
Flow Coma is another awesome track from the time. It has a big Acid House sound and melody, which The Prodigy resampled and used on their works nearly 10 years later. It’s purely awesome Acid House music and must be heard to be experienced. It’s a great and fun listen, even though this is intended to be an album only listen. Acid House? Oh yes! This is really consistent and amazing listening. Anyone who wants to know some of EDM history, start here with this album. A great listen. The ending is brilliant.
Next is the brilliant Acid tune Dr. Lowfuit. It has a repeated vocal sample, “Push it!” and just sounds awesome and epic. It is semi-psychedelic and well-structured. It is a great Acid House track to blow your mind into the 21st century. EDM fans, rejoice, your Acid House album awaits you. The precision in these computer-based melodies is very amazing, a great listen. A good head trip, unlike any other listening experience out there, even today. Being seven minutes long, it is never dull for the length of listening.
After that, we go into Headhunters which has some great bass beats and percussion, along with those 808 bell sounds. Some Acid sounds enter, along with a trillion hand claps. It’s very intelligently done, just a top-notch listen. There are some unique and amazing sounds here. A repeated riff holds this brilliant piece together. It’s an almost Trance inducing listen. Well done 808 State. Everything gets relatively subdued towards the end, with some strange vocal samples.
Narcossa is a rather dark and freaky sounding piece by 808 State. It is still very much with the sound of the album, and consistent as well. An excellent listen for a low mood, it is highly inspiring and a great listen. Acid House for every moment, this track does surprisingly well for a tune of its sort. Great stuff. This sort of music still sounds as though it could have been made today, but is better than most EDM out there today. Brilliant. There are some interesting drum beats and well thought out structures towards the end. Nice. The ending is a surprise.
E Talk is likely an ode to the Acid House drug – Ecstasy. It seems a little repetitive, although not overly annoying. The beats, textures and melodies are seemingly effortless by these guys. The structure and interesting nature of this track keep the album going, even towards its end. Very consistent and highly listenable. High quality for a debut album. This piece has a science fiction feel to it, great for the era, as well as today.
The last track is a very good Acid House track, Compulsion. As the name suggests, it is a compulsive ode to music and dancing. “Release your body,” is a repeated and multi-structured vocal sample here, and there is once again, a great Acid House sound about it. A good way to finish off listening, and a great album overall.
This is an extremely important release in the history of Electronic Dance Music. It marks the beginning of that great genre of music out of the USA, although this is not even as well-received as other 808 State albums out there. Catchy, awesome and Acid sounding, early EDM does not get much better than this. Sadly, at the time of writing this release is only available on YouTube. Still, it is 100% worth a listen.