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Aptly titled 'Greatest bits',
This review is from: Blueprint - The Best Of 808 State (Audio CD)
After 21 years in the business 808 State release their second 'greatest bits' compilation, the first 808:88:98 being more of a single driven effort whilst this CD takes in some more obscure album tracks as well as singles appearing in different formats.
Foreword by Paul Hartnoll, the sleeve notes include some kind words by Luminaries such as Liam Howlett and Moby proving that 808 State were indeed a pioneering act and that their peers hold them in highest regard.
Some tracks are included in their original form, The sax-laden bird tweets of 'Pacific', and the otherworldly instrumental 'Nephatiti' are both supreme slices of dance. Whilst vocally, We find Guy Garvey in form on the blissful 'Lemonsoul' and Bjork duly appears lending her distinctive warble to 'Qmart'.
Others are given a facelift for 2011, 'In Yer Face' is dragged into the present and sounds fantastic, 'Cobra Bora' is bleeped up to the nines, turbo-rave monster 'Timebomb' is relentless, and '606' featuring Simian, from the heavily underrated 'Outpost Transmission' sounds so good it could easily have graced the charts had it been released.
Remixes (revisits) are also featured, Aphex Twin gets his hands on early track 'Flow Coma' producing some evil, chopped up acid meatiness, Monkey Mafia get the beats out and give 'Cubik' a big dirty groove, Brian Eno works his ethereal magic on the delicious 'Lopez' and 'Plan 9', 'Nimbus' and 'Olympic' appear in alternate versions of the originals.
New track 'Spanish Ice' is a glorious sweeping cinematic track proving that despite being old heads 808 can still bring something new to the plate, whilst one of their most recent efforts 'Metaluna' is mashed with one of their first 'Compulsion' to great effect causing a squidgy, banger of a number.
I have been priviliged to be an 808 State fan over the last 2 decades, 'Blueprint' not only does the band justice by showcasing their considerable talent but hopefully brings them to a new audience who deserve to hear the guys that had such a massive influence on British dance music. The sleeve notes tell us '808 State will return' I hope this is true because that will mean that the wonderful ride I have been on for the last 21 years is not quite over just yet.