808 State’s Andy Barker Dead At 53

Tim Whitby/Getty Images

808 State’s Andy Barker Dead At 53

Tim Whitby/Getty Images

Andy Barker, longtime member of the great UK acid house group 808 State, has died. In a social media post yesterday, the group confirmed Barker had died “after a short period of illness.” Barker was 53.

808 State started in the late ’80s in Manchester, when the UK’s acid house wave was just beginning. The group released their 1988 debut album Newbuild before Barker joined the group. Barker started off as half of a DJ duo called the Spinmasters before joining 808 State in 1989. Co-founding member Gerald Simpson had just left the group to start his project a Guy Called Gerald. Barker and his fellow Spinmaster Darren Partington joined the group with Barker taking over as bassist and keyboardist.

808 State had already reached the UK top 10 with their 1989 breakout hit “Pacific State” when Barker joined the group, but 808 State went on to a great deal of success throughout the ’90s. The group worked with artists like Björk, New Order’s Bernard Sumner, and Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield. In 2015, Darren Partington left 808 State after being sentenced to prison time for dealing drugs. Since then, Barker and co-founder Graham Massey have been the only members of 808 State. Transmission Suite, the group’s last album, came out in 2019.

Below, listen to some of the music that 808 State made with Andy Barker.

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