Track Review: Where Wye & Severn // 808 State

Manchester acid house pioneers Graham Massey and Andrew Barker – better known as 808 State – are back with a fundraising track for their friend and booking agent Ben ‘BK’ Kouijzer, who is battling a rare form of cancer.

‘Where Wye & Severn’ is an outtake from their 2019 album Transmission Suite, later completed and mixed this year. According to the duo, the track “seemed a little out of place for that album, almost harking back to our Don Solaris pastoral landscape sound.” The title is a reference to Wordsworth’s poem ‘Tintern Abbey’, a celebration of “nature as a curative force”.

The five-minute track is a lush soundscape, punctuated with orchestral flourishes and underpinned by cascading keys and gently warbling bass. ‘Where Wye & Severn’ abounds with light springtime energy and slow-burning ambient layers.

It would have been a shame for such a wonderful composition to have remained unfinished and not to have joined the 808 State catalogue. All the better then that its proceeds are going to a good cause – you can find Ben’s GoFundMe page here.

808 State play The Ritz in Manchester on 18th December.

Words by Kristen Sinclair

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