Andy Barker, longtime member of pioneering Manchester electronic group 808 State, has died. 

808 State confirmed the passing of Barker in a statement shared to social media, writing that Barker passed away on Saturday following a “short period of illness.”

“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,” the group’s statement reads. “You’ll be sadly missed.”


Barker cut his teeth DJing as a teenager, before joining the ranks of 808 State, he was one half of DJ duo the Spinmasters with Darren Partington. “I started DJing when I was fourteen in a local youth club, playing early hip hop and electro. By the time I was old enough to go out clubbing, house music had arrived,” Barker previously told Skiddle. “The similarity between electro and house was what seduced me to the new genre. It had a huge influence on what I was playing in my sets and creating in the studio.”

“By 1988, I had a couple of residences, I was going to warehouse parties and making music regularly. I had a weekly radio show and 808 State was born.”

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Barker joined the 808 State fold in the late 80s’, following the departure of Gerald Smith. His first recordings with the group were 1989’s Quadrastate EP, and 1989’s 90.

Over three decades, Barker acted as a songwriter and producer on all 808 State records, “Everybody does everything, no one has a set job, everyone has a voice,” he told Melody Maker in 1990. “It’s not like anyone’s the drummer, anyone the bass player.”