on 12 September 2008
I think Graham Massey and company were really onto something while they were making this. They took giant steps away from their previous composing methods and skills to release this gem. Unfortunately, it seemed to polarize the 808 community. The only recourse I can offer is to ask folks to listen to this one again with as much of an open mind as possible. Buried in each one of these tracks are many, many elements that just don't get translated the first several times you hear it - and, likely - even more than just "several" times. It was not an immediate hit. It wasn't even "a hit", at all! But I love what they did with this record. I love the change in writing style. I love the beautiful melodies and I love the risks they took to get this incredible recording out there for others to hear. It may not be my absolute favorite 808 release, but it is UP THERE with my favorites. I also have some lovely associations with the album because I was traveling a lot whilst listening to it and it brings back some stunning vistas I took in on my way back up through the rural California coastline territory one big, gorgeous sunny afternoon several years ago. Don Solaris still delivers. I still get big goosebumps listening to it. A beautiful, but misunderstood, many would say - "misaligned" album. For some fans of the band, it opened up gigantic floodgates of creativity and fascinating melodies that feel timeless to me. Treat yourself with another couple of listenings. Give it a chance to grow on you. I hope you get as much out of it as I continue to get. Misunderstood - but awesome!
on 1 June 2002
Made after a long hiatus in which other groups like Leftfield and Underworld made up and surpassed the ground which 808 State had made with early albums like 'Ex:el' and 'Gorgeous'.
The album is very soft and pleasing sounding, apart from the harsh rhythms and rolling beat of 'Bond' with Soul Coughing's Matt Doughty's aggressive vocals, and also final track 'Banacheq' which is a breakbeat track full of squalls and noise.
But on tracks like 'Bird' and 'Black Dartangnon' the saxophone of Graham Massey comes to the fore and has a huge, soothing effect and lends the album a more mature feel, which came as a refreshment in an age which was dominated by lager, lager, lager!