Friday, August 10, 2018

A Certain Ratio back in business with new music, retrospective

A Certain Ratio have shared their first new music since 2008’s Mind Made Up and have announced the release of acr:set, a career-spanning compilation released on colored double vinyl, CD and digital formats on Oct. 12. Each format will feature its own version of album cover art.

“Dirty Boy” features the voice of Factory Records co-founder Tony Wilson preparing the band for “The Fox” recording session in his own inimitable fashion, plus vocals from Barry Adamson, who returns a favor to the band after they reworked 2017’s “I Got Clothes." Listen to “Dirty Boy” here.

Two new tracks – the aforementioned “Dirty Boy” and “Make It Happen” – were recorded at Oxygene in Manchester and appear on the new best of compilation, acr:set. The album is made up of tracks that feature in the band’s incendiary live show (hence the title), and includes rare 7” and 12” mixes alongside sleeve notes by DJ and writer Dave Haslam. Preorder acr:set here.

A Certain Ratio, known for their carnival atmosphere live performances have been playing shows throughout 2017 and 2018. Recent sold out dates have included London and Brighton. Forthcoming dates have been announced, and will be followed by 40th anniversary shows next year. See below for an updated itinerary.

UK Tour dates:

September 7 – Portmeirion, Wales – Festival No 6
September 8 – Birmingham, England – Shiiine Festival
September 15 – Dublin, Ireland – The Sugar Club
September 22 – Helsinki, Finland – Aaniwalli
September 29 – Edinburgh, Scotland – Voodoo Rooms
November 24 – Manchester, England – Gorilla w/ Sink Ya Teeth
December 1 – Clitheroe, England – The Grand
A Certain Ratio are supporters of Artists Against Hunger and will donate £1 for each ticket sold in 2018. For further details, please go to

ACR live is Jez Kerr, Donald Johnson, Martin Moscrop, Denise Johnson, Tony Quigley and recent addition on keyboards, Matt Steele, who has adapted to the ACR groove seamlessly.

A Certain Ratio embraced the ethic and culture of the late seventies post-punk explosion, but sounded like nothing else around them and refused to fit in. Formed in Manchester in 1978, the band has had various members throughout their career, with a core line-up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson that remains today.

An influence on generations of musicians – from LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor, Sink Ya Teeth and Andrew Weatherall – the band’s involvement in cultural touchpoints is sometimes unexpected: a recent exhibition at Stockport’s Strawberry Studios uncovered the tape box, but not the tapes, from a recording session with Grace Jones back in 1980 and Madonna’s live debut was supporting A Certain Ratio at the famous Danceteria in New York in 1982.

The band released their first single – which was produced by Martin Hannett – for the legendary Factory Records in 1979 and went on to be hailed universally as pioneers of what became known as “punk funk” thanks to the success of their second single, “Shack Up,” on both sides of the Atlantic.

Five albums were released on Factory – The Graveyard and the Ballroom (1979), To Each…(1981), Sextet (1982), I’d Like To See You Again (1982) and Force (1986). Following the release of Force, the band moved to A&M for two releases – Good Together (1989) and acr:mcr (1990).

After the leaving the major, the group released Up In Downsville (1992) and Change the Station (1997) on Rob’s Records, the label set up by New Order’s manager and Factory’s director, Rob Gretton, an important catalyst in the Manchester scene.

Back sharing a label with Factory label-mates New Order, A Certain Ratio's collaboration with Mute has seen their full studio album catalogue made available again ahead of this introductory style compilation, tying up loose ends of the band’s history before next year’s 40th anniversary, when a new box set of rare and unreleased material will see the light of day.

Their sound is not easily pigeon holed and their influence can never be understated. The band introduced the avant-garde elements of funk, jazz, electronics, tape loops and technology to the pop song, wrapping it in a post punk aesthetic.

acr:set Tracklist:

1. Do The Du (Casse) (1979)
2. Wild Party (12” version, 1985)
3. Flight (12” version, 1980)
4. And Then Again (12” version, 1980)
5. Forced Laugh (1981)
6. Wonder Y (1992)
7. Mickey Way (12” version, 1986)
8. 27 Forever (7” version, 1991)
9. Won’t Stop Loving You (Bernard Sumner Mix, 1990)
10. Good Together (12” version, 1990)
11. Be What You Wanna Be (12” version, 1990)
12. Shack Up (7” version, 1980)
13. The Fox (US 12” version, 1980)
14. Knife Slits Water (7” version, 1982)
15. Si Firmir O Grido (1986)
16. Dirty Boy Extended (feat. Barry Adamson) (2018)
17. Make It Happen (2018)

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