Andy Barker, 808 State's longtime bassist and keyboard player has died, aged 53. His passing was confirmed in a message posted yesterday (7th November) to 808 State's social media accounts.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise money for a vital sight-saving operation for Bizarre Inc.'s Cameron Dante.
Artists including Mr. Scruff, 808 State, Rob Tissera, Mark XTC, Jon Da Silva and Suddi Raval are amongst those involved. Each has put together an exclusive mix for a compilation sold on USB – which you can buy here – with the goal of reaching a target of £40,000 — achievable if 2,000 USBs are bought.
Francesca Lombardo has shared a live version of her track ‘Call Me Wrong’, with accompanying remixes from legendary UK electronic acts 808 State and The Orb.
Originally appearing on her 2019 album, ‘Life Of Leaf’, the live version of ‘Call Me Wrong’ was recorded during a set in London’s Giant Steps in April last year.
R3 Soundsystem are uniting the dance music community once again on 3rd December, against Trump, against Boris, and against Farage.
At 7pm the soundsystem will be firing up in London's Trafalgar Square, in association with Love Music Hate Racism and Stand Up to Racism.
The protest is arranged to coincide with Trump's visit to London for the NATO Heads of State summit, as on 3rd December the Queen will be hosting a reception for him at Buckingham Palace.
R3's three Rs stand for:
Despite austerity hitting all but the most affluent, charity giving continues to rise.
“The bohemian soul of the scene makes for fertile ground when people come together and fight for what they think is right” — Bobby Connolly
Bobby Connolly agrees, citing the “liberal mentality” that has been at the heart of dance music culture ever since the early days of disco in New York, and which famously came to the fore during the UK acid house explosion and its subsequent high-profile battles with government and authority figures.
“If you’re smart and do things well, you can raise a lot of money for charity through music releases,” McIvor says. “Artists are much more likely to get involved and help out if they know that you’re doing it for a good cause, and not trying to make money for yourself. It’s an effective way of reaching people. Plus, people who are buying dance music releases would generally tend to be more politically aware and conscientious.”
“In a perfect world, the corporations and festivals reaping most of the financial benefits in the scene would be convinced or pressured to contribute more to charitable causes” — Jordan Czamanski
From the start, the pair found it hard to get established producers to release on the label and, even more surprisingly, found that some within the dance music industry were strangely cynical about their motives. “At the beginning it was very hard for us,” Lucas says. “When we were trying to explain what we were trying to do, a lot of people were sceptical. They would say things like, ‘Nobody does this kind of thing for free’.
“I first got involved because Andy Turner from Plaid had mentioned it to me,” he says. “The cause is important, and it is something that has affected people dear to me, but above all, Martin puts out great music. Touched is a great label, Martin is a great person and regardless of the cause, I would have worked with him.”
CAUSES WIN PRIZES
“In the case of Joe Goddard, he passionately wanted to support what we’re doing, but his manager was encouraging him to do it, too,” McIvor says. “Most managers or agents would tell their artists to shy away from anything that may in some way be controversial or divide opinion.” Most wouldn’t think that speaking out against fascism and racism would be controversial, but the Optimo Music founder has been surprised how divisive his new label venture has been.
Graham Massey and Andy Barker take their places at a table in the first floor restaurant at Manchester arts institution HOME, just a stone’s throw away from where local clubbing mecca the Hacienda once stood.
Famously, one of the founder members of the fluid collective that would become 808 State, Gerald Simpson — later to find fame as A Guy Called Gerald — had come through this scene, being a familiar figure not only on the North’s vibrant soul all-dayer circuit, but also on the dancefloor at the Hacienda in the club’s troubled early days.
“We were making a Biting Tongues record in the studio the night before, and Howard the sax player had left his soprano sax there,” Massey says. “I’d played wind instruments a bit but I was in no way a saxophone player. I could play the notes that fitted those chords.” It was, Massey says, included as a tribute to some of his favourite jazz musicians, specifically John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Pharoah Sanders.
It later became the de facto ‘final tune’ at the Hacienda for around six months, too. “It was like winning the World Cup,” Massey enthuses, before a daytime Radio 1 DJ, the much-maligned Gary Davies, began championing it on air in the summer of 1989. “He’d been out in Ibiza and heard it in a club, come back and thought, ‘I’m playing this daytime’,” Barker says.
808 State have announced that they will be going on tour this year to mark their 30th anniversary.
The pioneering acid house group formed in Manchester in 1987, releasing their debut LP ‘Newbuild’ in 1988. They have gone on to release six albums, with a seventh currently in the works. 808 State: 30 Live will see the outfit’s two founding members Graham Massey and Andrew Barker embarking on a nine date tour across the UK in November and December this year.
Gorillaz’s 2D has dropped a new mix featuring artists that have been a key influence on him. You can listen to it below.
Titled the ‘G-mix’, it features Aphex Twin, synth-pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, 808 State and many more. It also traverses musical styles from retro-futurism synth music, to electro-clash, punk and 80’s ballads.
Gorillaz also announced their Humanz live tour in May, with dates across the UK and Europe.