The bassist and keyboardist passed away after a short illness
Andy Barker, keyboard player and bassist for Mancunian house and techno pioneers 808 State, has died following a short illness. He was 53 years old.
The news was broken by 808 State themselves earlier this afternoon, in a tweet that read:
“It’s with a heavy heart to inform you of the passing of Andrew Barke. His family and friends asks that people respect their privacy at this time but remember him for the joy he brought through his personality and music. You’ll be sadly missed.”
Andy Barker and Darren Partington, known collectively as Spinmasters, were recruited to 808 State by Graham Massey and Martin Price after the third founding member, Gerald Simpson (AKA A Guy Called Gerald) left the band in 1989. The pair made their recording on that year’s Quadrastate EP, and throughout the rave era hosted the seminal 808 State radio show, first on Manchester’s Sunset Radio and later on the then newly-legal Kiss FM. Following the departures of Price in 1991 and Partington in 2015, 808 State consisted of the duo of Massey and Barker up until his death.
Other legends of Manchester music including the likes of Dave Haslam, Rowetta, Moodymanc and Elliott Eastwick were among those paying their respects on Twitter today.