Due to record label issues, 808 State had to delete one of their older compilations from their back catalogue. In return, they have released this retrospective compilation in 2021. It is no doubt a powerful and very collectable piece of musical history, despite being only a digital release at this point. Let’s take a listen to this album, and see what we have here.
We begin with Pacific State which is the memorable and lovely classic tune. Beginning with ethereal sounds, bird calls and saxophone, this is surely nothing but an absolute classic. Some pummeling beats then enter, which drive this piece along nicely. A truly inspired, original and amazing piece of music, there are multiple excellent musical touches musically throughout this song that make it an amazing listen from start to finish. It is very much danceable as it is listenable here, with gorgeous bird sounds and unique electronic melodies throughout. A real classic of EDM history, and a must listen if you haven’t heard this already. A brilliant, moving and awesome instrumental piece, this is wonderful listening. The saxophone here is just lovely. Towards the end, the whole thing fades out gently.
Next along is In Yer Face – Revisited which begins with some synth strings and some documentary talk about the failure of the U.S.A. that is sampled, before launching into quite a decent and groove based tune here. In your face indeed, this is a really awesome listen and has some excellent and unique textures here to groove to. Very catchy, it is an excellent and cool sounding piece that is very much akin to the Acid House sounds of the late 1980s. Another great tune here, this is an excellent listen. Nice.
Cübik is the legendary 808 State tune, beginning with some electric guitar styled sounds, before launching into a groovetastic and danceable piece with a dark groove here. It sounds very retro here, and just hits the spot nicely. A killer piece to go crazy to, this is another classic tune by 808 State. It just sounds amazing, even today and is incredibly well textured, melodic and interesting for a piece such as this. Great tune to hear, complete with a weird outro.
The Only Rhyme That Bites – Rap features MC Tunes and has a brief introduction sampling Pacific State, before launching into a head rush piece which has an awesome Rap piece here that sounds really amazing. It is a clever and intellectual styled EDM based Rap piece that is completely different to most kinds of music out there, and samples some Disco styled strings here as well. Very intelligent and intellectually delivered, this is an excellent tune that is surprisingly good and still sounds so today. It ends in a rather odd way.
Next along is Cobra Bora – Revisited and begins with some beeps and similar sounds, with hi-hats entering in the scene. It is an interesting and very Acid House styled piece here, which is cool and retro simultaneously. This is a really decent listening experience here, no matter if you are dancing away to this tune or not. A great retro piece with some killer melodies here, this is really awesome listening. The second half sounds admittedly a little weirder than the first half, but is great all the same. There is seemingly some artificial electric guitar parts, electronically made, in the background here, before finishing abruptly. Good effort.
Following is Olympic – Word Production Mix which has an eerie introduction to it, before launching into some very good beats, structures and melodies to get you listening. A great tune to hear, and just sounds really amazing here, it is intense and well done here, with a load of instrumentation that is very much post-Acid House here. Brilliant and energetic with seemingly an effortless precision, this is great music here. Towards the middle is some clanging piano and other instrumentation that enters, propelling this piece along nicely. A quirky, yet excellent listening experience, 808 State prove themselves to be in a class of their own. Great Acid textures are here, with some interesting percussion sounds towards the end. Great stuff, and very original listening.
Ooops features singer Björk and has a symphonic sounding flavour about it from the start. It is a very memorable piece of music, and our guest puts in a memorable and lovably passionate performance here. The whole thing sounds rather odd and quirky here, and just is rather different as a piece of music to hear. Emotional, moody and yet, punchy, this is quite a good listen. Different yet decent, 808 State succeed on many different levels of musical intelligence. A really good, yet symphonic piece of music here, the effort from both 808 State and Björk here is excellent, a fine listen.
Tunes Split The Atom – Rap once again features MC Tunes. It has a host of digital sounds at the beginning, before launching into a really cool Rap piece that is decent, enjoyable and very memorable. A really cool and great sounding piece of music that is totally underrated, this is a classic Acid House based Rap piece that is really top and a great sound from the past. Really awesome listening, this is a lively and fresh piece of music from start to finish. Excellent.
Next here is Lift – 7″ Mix which begins with a weird sounding melody, before beats and strings enter. This is a very post-Disco sounding piece here which has a hint of psychedelia about it. A brilliant tune to hear, this compilation is very good to this point so far, may it continue. 808 State certainly know how to create great Electronic based music, and this track is yet another example why so. The Disco styled strings and pummeling beats will grab your attention here, overall yet another classy listen. Another fresh and inspired tune from start to finish.
Following is Timebomb – 808 Tape Mix which begins with some awesome sonic textures, sampled vocal yelps and some excellent breakbeats in the background. Another set of breakbeats enter, making this a very danceable and listenable tune here. It goes into a really cool intermission static and bass combined sound to make you groove along to this piece. Excellent music, and just sounds amazing here, this is surely a winner track, and also album. An awesome track here, 808 State prove that they are masters of post-Acid House sonic artistry. Excellent sounds here, and definitely one of the highlights of this compilation. A great listen, although only under five minutes long. Great stuff.
Nimbus – Revisited is the last track on side one of this double album here. It begins with some quirky and interesting sounds, building up into quite an emotional piece here. Excellent sounds are here, and this piece has a multitude of sounds such as ethereal strings, quirky breakbeats and other dark textures that suit this piece very well. Awesome, dark and different, this is a really great and ingenious piece of music here. Great tune, and a nice way to finish off side one of this double album. Great sound and approach musically here.
Lopez begins the second half of this album and features James Dean Bradfield. It begins with some weird slide guitar, dark textures and weird stop/start breakbeats here. Shortly into it, our guest gets singing away and he sounds a lot like Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, and also a bit like U2’s Bono. Regardless, this is a very decent and enjoyable listen here, and just is a killer piece of music, once again. Excellent to listen to, 808 State prove throughout this compilation that they definitely have a skill in musical expertise, unlike many others out there. Great music here, and quite emotional listening. It ends with some loose guitar parts that are imaginatively and excellently done via a long fade out.
Next along is Azura – Radio Edit which begins with some odd melodies, before guest singer Louise Rhodes enters. A really wonderful and soothing listen with breakbeats, this is an awesome listen that sounds very excellent and wonderful here. A straightforward Pop/EDM piece that sounds simple, effective and brilliant, this is another fine listening that is really decent. 808 State proves here to the world that, indeed, one can create wonderful music on a textural basis that is good quality as well. An extraordinary listen and nice track here.
Following is Bond – Radio Version which sounds very 1980s from the start, with some keyboard melodies and reverberated beats here. It quickly goes into a weird breakbeat fusion sort of piece. Unfortunately, this is a really ordinary sounding track (unusually for this compilation) and Mike Doughty’s guest appearance does not do justice to this track, either. Pretty forgettable and boring, 808 State could do better than this here. The strange beats in the second half are pretty weird, before continuing with this rather ordinary listen. In any case, it’s a nice try but just falls flat. Some weird harmonica and breakbeats are here at the end, before finally concluding. Ordinary.
Plan 9 begins with some beautiful guitar parts and ethereal strings, before going into a chilled sort of vibe track, but with breakbeats. It’s an interesting listen, although by this point, the compilation here is running a bit out of steam musically. It’s still a good tune here, but obviously not as “wow” as other tracks on this double album here. Still, a good listen, even if not a great one. The breakbeats and unique sounds make this track quite lively here, and the whole thing is a decent listen anyway. It ends with some weird samples of children, before concluding.
One in Ten – 808 7″ is a duel piece with UB40 here. It sounds very weird at the start, before launching into a decent remix of the original UB40 piece here. It sounds energetic and lively here, and proof that 808 State had their mojo in many musical ways. A short and interesting piece of music that is really quite great listening, and is a great take on an UB40 classic. It’s very much like that track mixed with a lot of Acid House and Breakbeats, and is short and sweet.
Following is 10×10 which begins with an impressive electric piano sound. Sure, it sounds a little cheesy, but it is still listenable all the same. Some Gospel style vocals then enter, and this piece gets underway with some old school Roland textures. It then goes into a superb retro styled section of dark textures and beats to go with the Gospel styled vocals here. The track gradually evolves into a very danceable and energetic piece of music that is pretty weird, but enjoyable and listenable all the same. Interesting musical piece, and quite short as well.
Next along is Invader which has some spacey science fiction style sounds to begin with, before launching into some monstrous breakbeats here that sound a lot like Techno/Breaks sort of music here. A decent hybrid of thought, sound and structure, 808 State do very well here. This is a dark and dirty old school piece designed to get you moving, but is a really great listen simultaneously. A futuristic and different sounding piece of music, this is a really energetic and incredible sounding track here. Very awesome music that is totally different to anything else out there in the world of music Monstrous, dark and impressive, 808 State deliver exactly what you need musically. It ends with a sonic explosion.
Long Orange – ESP Mix begins with some Trance/Ambient sounds that are really excellent. It is a really nice, yet different listen to hear. It just sounds really weird, but in a great way. Some semi-Drum and Bass beats then enter, and this piece gets underway. A really cool piece of musical goodness, this is really awesome to hear. A lively piece that could be in a film score of sorts, 808 State make some great and decently intellectual EDM music. For any Electronic music fans, tracks like these are a must listen. A very wonderful and fresh listen from start to finish, 808 State do very well here. A surreal adventure through music, this is really awesome to hear. The Trance/Ambient sounds conclude this piece here, nice job by 808 State.
Quincy’s Lunch – Revisited comes along next, with a freaky intro that sounds something akin to a movie soundtrack. It sounds like a weird and eerie piece of music here. It quickly goes into a strange piece of music with some energetic sounding drums in the background, along with some rather dark textures. A really good and energetic listening experience that is one of the more unusual pieces on this album, this is a strong effort nonetheless. The second half has some more weird sounds here, before going straight back into the power and energetic section of this track. Good to listen to, although very odd. It ends with some weird samples that are cut up like vegetables on a kitchen chopping board, nice to hear.
Following is Tokyo Tokyo which begins with some gurgling sounding noises, with beats that enter quickly. Some speech is sampled here, mostly in Japanese, likely from a film. Indeed, this is a minimal, Techno styled piece that is really different. A good listen all the same, no doubt inspired by travelling to Japan and similar cross cultural experiences here. Very much a good mixture between Acid House and Techno, it is a good sonic representation of what Tokyo would actually be like. Great music, and more minimal than most 808 State releases. Very nice to hear, a good tune that ends with rushing sounds.
Next is Ujala which begins with bongo drums, and some basic beats join immediately as well into the track. This is an interesting track in that it sounds fresh, original and flavoursome. A really great piece of music that is rather different, and a fantastic listen, as the track indicates. Great music here, and just a really awesome listen, even if this is not very well known by 808 State. Decent music, and worth hearing, even if it sounds a bit weird at times. Great sounds and sonic craftsmanship are here, and this is a good listen.
In Yer Face – Bicep Remix is next and the last track on this double album. It goes for seven minutes long, which is a bit longer than most 808 State track time lengths here. It begins with ethereal sounds, a deep bass kick drum and a great musical sense about it. Metallic hi-hats then enter, which are prominent and some nicely mixed vocals and sound effects are here in this track. A very awesome piece of music, it sounds rather dreamy and ethereal here, which makes it pleasant listening. This is not that different to what Leftfield or similar acts would have created back in the day, and is both intellectually satisfying and danceable. It sounds excellent, and is a great piece of music to finish off quite a decent compilation album here. Nicely crafted, created and delivered, this remix is a great example of what can happen if musicians work together to create a great remix. Excellent stuff, and a fine way to finish off a double album. Awesome and clever sounding, it fades out gradually at the end, segment by segment.
This is a really excellent compilation that shows 808 State to be as fresh and decent today as they were back in the late 1980s. Do yourself a favour and check this out if you dig EDM music, you will not be disappointed. Fans of 808 State will be pleased to know that there are some new tracks on this double album, so seek this out if you can.
Awesome, yet different.
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