Incoming: double-LP extended versions of 808:90 (or simply Ninety if you prefer) and Ex:El by Mancunian acid house pioneers 808 State, courtesy of the Music on Vinyl label.
808 State started out as a hip-hop trio called Hit Squad Manchester, featuring Martin Price, Graham Massey and Gerald Simpson who all met at Price’s record store. They soon changed direction into house/techno, morphed into 808 State and released their first album Newbuild on the Creed record label founded by Price.
Beyond Manchester’s Haçienda club, where the band’s reworking of New Order’s Blue Monday earned them, er, rave reviews, wider awareness of their music came when Radio 1 DJ Gary Davies started playing their single Pacific State, helping it to reach the UK top 10. Around this time, Gerald Simpson left the group to become A Guy Called Gerald, two DJs called Andrew Baker and Darren Partington joined, and the State released Ninety – their second full-length album, and first with ZTT Records – in December 1989. Slant Magazine later ranked it as number 54 in their list of best albums of the Eighties, described it as ‘ a thrilling expansion of the possibilities for acid house and arguably the best LP ever produced in the style’.
Pacific/Pacific State (or whatever the hell it’s called), is a song that has had more remixes and alternative titles than Eamonn Holmes has eaten hot pies. Indeed, only recently, for Record Store Day, Music on Vinyl released a 12-inch limited edition on blue and black mixed vinyl with the original and three remixes of the song. Here you’ll find you’ll find Pacific 202, from the original album, and Pacific (Britmix) among the eight bonus tracks/remixes on the second LP.
The reissue of Ex:El marks the 25th anniversary of its original release in 1991. It was the group’s fourth album and Martin Price’s last before departing the group. Adopting heavier beats than heard on Ninety, and rekindling earlier hip-hop and industrial influences, the album yielded two key early-Nineties techno singles – In Yer Face and Cubik. It also features guest vocals from Bernard Sumner on Spanish Heart, and Björk (on Qmart and Ooops) with whom Graham Massey would collaborate on many of her subsequent solo projects.
There were deluxe remastered expanded CD reisssues of both of these albums in 2008, and while the track listing is the exactly same here for Ninety, the bonus tracks on Ex:El have had to be rationalised somewhat to fit the double LP format, and there are different mixes of Ooops and Cübik to those on the CD reissue.
Both reissues are pressed on 180-gram audiophile vinyl and each come with a gatefold sleeve, printed inner-sleeves and a four-page booklet. A first pressing of 750 numbered colored vinyl copies of both will also be available – Ninety on transparent blue vinyl and Ex:El on yellow (expect the black vinyl versions via the links below)
Ninety is released on 13 May with Ex:El to follow on 3 June.
- Magical Dream
- Cobra Bora
- Pacific 202
- Donkey Doctor
- The Fat Shadow (Pointy Head Mix)
- Pacific (Britmix)*
- Cobra Bora (Call The Cops Mix)*
- Donkey Doctor (GMEX Mix)*
- Kinky National*
- State To State*
- Revenge Of The Girlie Men*
- Magical Dream (Instrumental)*
- San Francisco
- Spanish Heart (featuring Bernard Sumner)
- Leo Leo
- Qmart (featuring Björk)
- Ooops (featuring Björk)
- In Yer Face (In Yer Face Mix)
- Cübik (Original Mix)
- Lambrusco Cowboy
- Techno Bell
- Ski Family*
- Ooops (Utsala Head Mix)*
- Cübik (Monkey Mafia Remix)*