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808 State – 90 (1989)

February 23, 2021

[Album 863/1001]

“if you don’t like our 808s, then leave us alone, ’cause we don’t need your policies
We have no apologies for being”
– Alessia Cara, Wild Things

I enjoy learning new things.

I gather ‘808’ is often a reference to The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, an early drum machine. Over the years, its definition has evolved and these days it may also just be used as shorthand for a beat.

Given the genre here (IDM = Intelligent Dance Music, speaking of learning new things!), I believe this group’s name is a tip of the hat to the drum machine.

But do I like their 808s?

Well, like the Alessia Cara lyric, I like how the album is unapologetically IDM; they don’t appear to be chasing trends or throwing out a mishmash of styles, hoping that something will stick.

With the standard disclaimers about not being the target audience / the female vocal track being the standout (here, Vanessa Sherrington’s vocals on Magical Dream), I do admire their commitment to palindromic numbers.

As shown modestly with the track, Pacific 202, and more grandly with the track, 808080808.

Although 90 is not a palindrome (oh well, pobody’s nerfect, right?), I also like the lack of words in the album title.

In fact, I like it so much, it’s Top 5 material!

…..

Verbalize the Positive

How do you know it’s going to be a good day?

When you check your PC Optimum points account and see this as the current balance!

From → 1980s

17 Comments
  1. This is another right time, right place one for me. I really like it, although I only actually bought a copy a few years ago – it just seemed to be around everywhere.

    • I do like the late 80s/early 90s beats – it feels like the sound of an era, and it generally draws a smile from me!

  2. PC Card= Classic. VH liked that numerical title as well with a few other albums like “5150” and the mix of the alphabet and numbers in “OU812”. I guess they all can’t be on the Top 1001 list lol…

  3. I always wondered what Alessia meant with that 808 comment. I was thinking some police code reference.

  4. Sarah just got some blue-tooth earbuds with her Shoppers points. I guess they’re not Shoppers points anymore though. Anyway, it is pretty cool what you can do with those points.

    • I don’t think I ever had an ‘optimum’ card – but now if I’m in shoppers and they ask for it, the ‘pc optimum’ does the trick!

      • Sarah’s had it for years and got some cool stuff out of it. They used to do double points days too. I’m not sure if they still do.

  5. jprobichaud permalink

    I liked 808 State’s “Gorgeous” but that’s really the only album by them that I know.

    • And so far ’90’ is the extent of my knowledge of the group!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        Check out “Gorgeous”. There’s some pretty great tracks on there. Their remix of UB40’s “One in ten” is excellent and I don’t know how many times I’ve danced to “Time bomb”.

  6. Love the Top 5. I might have JJ. Cale at #5.
    808 State is an outfit I must look further into. Thanks.

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