808 State’s ‘Pacific’ was released on this day in 1989, but which mix is THE quintessential version..?

There were few tracks that captured the ethereal bliss of the late 90s acid house scene than Pacific by 808 State, which was released on this day (6 November) in 1989…

It’s also a track that boasts more ‘original edits’ than you’d care to shake a Korg KMS 30 MIDI synchronizer at.

The original 12-inch single, released on ZTT Records, featured three versions of the track – the well-known Pacific 202 (which also featured on the Ninety album), as well as the more downtempo Pacific State (from the Quadrastate EP) and the drum-heavy Pacific 303.

Another popular version, Pacific 707, meanwhile, appeared on the original 7-inch version of the track.

To make matters more confusing, a re-release of the track a year later gave rise to a whole smattering of additional versions, which to the uneducated listener, may seem not all that different to the original.

As Discogs handily points out, “Pacific State (origin) is the original version from Quadrastate, and Pacific B is an edit thereof. Pacific 202 is the popular remix featured on the 90 album, and Pacific 707 is an edit of it. Pacific 303 has stronger percussion than 202 and 707, but is otherwise not that different.

“202, 707 and 303 all pitch up the song’s signature chords and loon samples, replace the original’s saxophone with a clarinet, redo the percussion in a softer yet more frenetic style, and replace the original’s deep bassline with a vaguely “acid”-style synth line in a higher register.

“Pacific 909 and the bonus bird beats together form one long, “deep” house remix with more improvised parts and atmospheric effects, but feature the original saxophone and a lower-pitch version of the 202 synth line.”

In terms of the later versions, meanwhile, “Pacific 0101, 212, and 516 are Justin Strauss remixes which all use the clarinet and loon samples from 202, but restore and more prominently feature the original bassline, and use percussion more akin to the original.

“Pacific 718 and Pacific Break (by Tommy Musto and Frankie Bones), ditch most of the improvisational elements altogether, and rework the song’s chords and background elements into a dense, hypnotic arrangement of layered loops, with the 718 version including a new bassline and new, rhythmic keyboard parts which follow the background chords.”

Still with us? Thought not. But no worry… it’s still a hell of a track, and is certain to go down an absolute TREAT when the 808 State lads play it out during their forthcoming tour.

[Kudos to MarkTurver1990 and TrickyMicky for the YouTube uploads]

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1 thought on “808 State’s ‘Pacific’ was released on this day in 1989, but which mix is THE quintessential version..?

  1. Pacific (202 for me) is probably the BEST song to come out of the rave generation. I was crazy about 808 State when I first heard it way back in 89 or 90 and they remain my favorite electronic dance music artist to this very day.

    Strangely enough I never heard them at raves back then. I think perhaps their music was “too musical” or “too cerebral” This was music for making the mind and soul dance as much as the body. I think they are absolute geniuses whose talents are matched by only a few.

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