A bit of an unusual title for the second 808 State album, given that it was actually released in 1989. Perhaps the group were looking into the future? After releasing the brilliant debut album Newbuild, 808 State needed to further expand their efforts in the world of Electronic Music. This album was its successor, but over 30 years later, how does it stand? Let’s find out.
We kick off with Magical Dream which has an interesting melody to begin with, before launching into an awesome Acid House style groove with some female vocals incorporated into the track. This is a really awesome listen, and is a little more out there, so to speak, than Newbuild was. An interesting and danceable piece of music, this is great. A really concise piece, it launches into a percussion heavy breakdown. It quickly resumes into the main part of the track. This is magical indeed, a really wonderful effort by 808 State. Definitely a must listen, this is really fantastic to hear. The outro has some excellent Acid House sounds and textures. A fine piece of music.
Next along is Ancodia which begins with some more Techno style noises, which are a little discordant. It then breaks down into a slower breakbeat led piece that sounds superb. There is also some wah-wah guitar thrown into the mix for good measure. Some vocal samples that are chanted are here, and they are nicely added here for maximum effect. It sounds like what House music started off as – remixed Disco music. A cool and clever track, it has some nicely cut up drumbeats that are really excellent and unforgettable on this track. Some DJ scratching follows. This is a step into new realms beyond the Acid House scene of the late 1980s. Some more vocal samples and magical melodies then enter. A truly great effort to hear, and a joy to hear as well. It has a false ending here, before going into a multitude of sonic sounds and ending afterwards. Great tune.
Cobra Bora comes next with some straightforward House style beats and melodies, with a melodic harmony to go with it. It has some intricate percussion qualities in it. Before long, it goes into a very Acid House inspired melody and danceable feel to this track. Totally underrated, and really amazing, too. This is likely some of the best Electronic music and EDM from this point in history. It is a great listen. Some more cut up melodies and harmonies are here, making this piece sound incredibly interesting and a very good listen. There is a Breakbeat feel to this track as well. A very good and forward thinking track, 808 State never fail to deliver here. Some spacey Acid sounds are panned in a stereo way in the second half of this track, making this an exciting retro listen. There is a brief intermission with a dive bomb sonic imitation, before launching back into the Electronic goodness. A very good quality and interesting track, it is never dull, although being six and a half minutes long. It ends with Pink Floyd type synth squeals. Excellent.
Pacific 202 is a remix of the original Pacific State. It begins with birds chirping and saxophone, before going into quite a good remix of the original, although having the original rather than this remix here would have done justice. Still, it is an extraordinary listen, with some Acid House and beats nicely mixed into this classic track. A great listen all the same, it has many different elements and layers of sound that are really quite amazing. A really great effort, this is top listening. A wonderful piece of Electronic music that is timeless, even if this is a remix for this album. Excellent listening, and deeply moving. In the second half it goes into an EDM style frenzy of sounds and textures. A really fine piece of music, and a nice addition to this album. At the end the birds chirping and synth patch do justice. Nice job.
Up next is Donkey Doctor which begins with cut up vocals and some pummeling beats. The vocals welcome you to “Techno centre” and quickly lead you into a very catchy and interesting piece of melodic EDM. Being a good mixture of Techno and other types of Electronic Music, this is really cool to hear. Some rather dark Acid melodies are here, along with some other intricate and awesome textures that sound like a load of effort were put into them. A superb track, this is a really excellent listening experience for all to hear. A catchy Roland TB-303 Acid riff is played in the second half. Very good to listen to, and amazing, even today. Another great piece of music that one can really appreciate from this album, this sounds like a lot of interesting drugs were being taken whilst making this track. Brilliant all the same, it segues into the next track.
Following is 808080808 which begins with a rather humourous intro with extreme cut up vocals and some great melodies, before launching into a darker sounding Acid House style piece. Some really excellent and amazing sounds, beats and textures are here for your listening enjoyment. If Newbuild was the scene setter, 90 is the boundary breaker. A huge amount of Acid based textures are here for your enjoyment, and this is an extraordinary effort. Although very much an instrumental tune, this is something that many people could easily appreciate. Very interesting and nicely crafted, this is an amazing and futuristic sounding listen. Towards the end is a great mixture of percussion and science fiction Acid House sounds. Great stuff.
Sunrise begins with a horn sort of noise before some weird percussion enters. Some very intricate melodies and percussion enter, sounding very Roland-ish. Wonderful and cool, this is a nice laidback track to chill with when the mood strikes. Flute enters as well, making this a little bit different. There are many heavily processed digital sounds here and this is a slow burner, rather than a fast fizzler, which most EDM music seemingly is of the latter. This is what makes 808 State shine here, the music is seemingly effortless and timeless. A great concoction of sound, the midsection has the sound of rain and the same textures continuing through it. A very forward thinking and mellow piece of Acid House/House/Techno inspired music from the time, this is legendary. A beautiful sense of melody and sound is here, all the way to the finish. It finishes off with a set of Techno style sounds. Excellent.
The Fat Shadow – Pointy Head Mix is last here, being a minute long. It has a load of noisy percussion sounds that are all over the place, before an electrified sounding vocal sample repeats over and over. Some beats then follow, and we have a weird ending.
This is a great album, definitely. 808 State proved here to the world that, although Newbuild was the scene setter, this was the moment they began to experiment further with their sound. All in all a consistent and fascinating listen, if you liked Newbuild or the old Acid House scene, this is worth listening to as well. Check this out if you can.
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