While the early 90’s Madchester scene was primarily about The Stone Roses, and to a lesser extent baggy ravers like The Happy Mondays, there was also the slightly more underground acid house element led by 808 State.
Hard to believe they ever had chart success — even in the UK — but they did, with 4 top 10 singles.
The first was “Pacific State,” a chillout anthem from second album 90. Probably the only hit single ever with an electronic clarinet:
Probably their signature tune — it did appear on both 90 and Ex:El — is the abrasive and incessant “Cubik”:
My favorite from Ex:El back in the day was the epic “In Yer Face”:
Not to say they invented it, but 808 State did pioneer the concept of guest vocalists in electronic music, enlisting the likes of Bernard Sumner, Bjork, and the great Ian McCulloch — as seen in this live performance of “Moses”:
Sure, it’s all somewhat dated and a little bit silly now. But back when X-ing was awesome, 808 State were the bomb.