808 State’s debut album is almost certainly the best British acid house record ever made, and one of the most perfect documents of the invention and derangement of its time from anywhere in the world. The only album made while Gerald Simpson aka A Guy Called Gerald was still part of the band, it bubbles with the purity and intensity of his earliest solo works like “Voodoo Ray” and “Emotions Electric”. This is pure hardware music, electricity moving through circuits, not digitally arranged on screens — and where Chicagoans were often coy about drug references, this is music from the Manchester not just of mainly Black electro, soul and house clubs, but also of the Haçienda and Happy Mondays: unabashedly narcotic. Tracks are called things like “Narcossa,” “E-Talk” and “Flow Coma” and they sound like grooving in the fifth dimension with dangerous aliens, AIs and who knows what else. Utterly mind-melting and utterly addictive.

Joe Muggs