Mancunian electronic pioneers
Mancunian electronic pioneers 808 State, known best for genre defining records including: Ninety, Gorgeous, ex:el and Don Solaris, are inspired equally by the haunting of their home city’s industrial past (and, for that matter, the influence of classic Detroit techno) but still remain true to their career-long focus on what’s to come next…
“We’re trying to make a future for other people to immerse themselves in,” says Graham Massey.
“That’s always been a big part of 808 State: these kind of landscapes of futurism.”
Originally formed by Massey, Martin Price and Gerald Simpson in 1988, the group's early work was a prominent influence on the UK's burgeoning acid house scene. 808 State’s first album – Newbuild - is now regarded as a milestone in UK electronica. Quadrastate followed this and included Pacific State which became an end-of-night anthem at the Haçienda. The track broke out of the dance underground when it was picked up by daytime BBC Radio 1. The band pushed against dance-celebrity culture with intentionally minimalist record sleeves and a reluctance to self-promote. In 1989 Paul Morley signed the band to the ZTT label, and the first fruit of this partnership, the album Ninety, was awarded 10 out of 10 by the NME. The Guardian declared that with this record, “808 State mapped out the future of club music, utilising techno, ambient and rock...”
Now in 2023, the band continue to perform across the world, led by original founding member Graham Massey, with their music continuing to inspire and influence crowds wherever they go.