Formed in 1978 with a core line-up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson, adding Tony Quigley, Denise Johnson and Matt Steele for touring and studio contributions, Manchester’s A Certain Ratio embraced the ethic and culture of the late seventies post-punk explosion, sounding like nothing else around them and refusing to fit in.
ACR have released 10 albums throughout their career to date and add the 11th album in 2020 with ACR Loco, an eclectic yet cohesive record, moving seamlessly from the endlessly dreamy album opener ‘Friends Around Us’ to the infectious funk-strut of ‘Bouncy Bouncy’, via the poignantly beautiful ‘Always In Love’ and closing on the riotous ‘Taxi Guy’, a track that inconceivably manages to take in jazz, Brazilian music and acid house all in one seven-minute thumper.
ACR Loco comes fresh off the back of their most successful tour in over 20 years, “We’ve done the 40 year celebration thing,” says Jez. “It’s about the future now and where we’re going next.”
It might have been 12 years since the last ACR album but as far as Martin is concerned, the group has always been in a sense of motion and now find themselves in an ideal place where the band’s history and future are in perfect coalescence, “1980 doesn’t feel that long ago to me,” he says. “Where we’re at now just feels like a continuation.”
A Certain Ratio continue their unstoppable run of creativity with a new EP, launching with ‘Wonderland’, the first track to be taken from ACR:EPA, out on Mute on 7 May 2021.
This EP is the first in a series that is set to continue with two further releases. ACR:EPC focusses on collaboration and is dedicated to Andrew Weatherall, who was in part responsible for the band reigniting, and ACR:EPR which they describe as “anything goes”!
Houses In Motion
Houses In MotionA CERTAIN RATIO celebrates their 40th anniversary this year with a new box set and tour. Houses In Motion is reworked from original tapes, recorded in 1980 with Martin Hannett. This track, a Talking Heads cover, was intended as a collaboration with Grace Jones. Although Jones attended a session with the band at Strawberry Studios in Stockport, her vocals were never completed and the vocal on this version (recorded by Jez Kerr, prior to him becoming the band’s singer) was only ever intended as a guide vocal. Jez Kerr continues, "It was great to find this lost track and, even though the original idea was for Grace Jones to sing on it, I think this version captures the essence of ACR at their best – when we are being ACR and sounding like no one else."
WonderlandWonderland by A Certain Ratio. Taken from the forthcoming release, ACR: EPA Featuring the everlasting vocals of Denise Johnson ❤️ Video created by Raz Ullah