808 State – Transmission Suite review

The 21st century’s commodification of everything means that cultural waypoints such as the birth of Acid House in 1988 – at the time described as the Second Summer of Love – have been gradually rendered down into off-the-peg marketing episodes. If you want to live it, you can buy the t-shirt, dance video and stream Now That’s What I Call Rave: don’t miss out also on your free sachet of pre-sweated perspiration.

808 State’s Graham Massey witnessed the birth of a movement which almost uniquely cut across the then far more rigid strata of class, race and sexuality in Britain, one that had it’s roots partially in Chicago and Detroit but took hold like a epidemic across the country. On tracks such as Pacific State they added some sophistication to a sound that was, experienced in person, necessarily primitive and raw, a primal throb built to be felt in the gut.

Now a duo, it would’ve been easy on Transmission Suite for Massey and production partner Andy Barker to re-tool that hedonistic soundtrack for the Hacienda Guided Tours crowd, but having recently moved into the now defunct Granada TV studios, they’ve gone back underground, to stunning effect.

Weaving through off kilter, archive techno (Opener Tokyo Tokyo), late night, archive club brutalism (Angol Argol) and cyber-jazz (Skylon) Transmission Suite feeds eminently from the pair’s environment, the sound of old tapes, sound effects and garbled signals, all restored with great intuition from an era long consigned to shrink-wrapped history.

You can read the full review here.

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