Saturday Night Funk Fever With A CERTAIN RATIO And Brand New EP ‘ACR: EPA’

Daily electricity to load your batteries…

7 May 2021

Band: A CERTAIN RATIO (Greater Manchester)
Who: Art-funk collective who started their journey
back in 1978.

Info (via Mute Records): Back in March 2020, ACR gathered at Oxygene in
Salford for an informal weekend of studio time. With no fixed agenda, and no
preconceived ideas, the band – Denise Johnson, Tony Quigley, Matthew Steele, Jez
Kerr, Donald Johnson and Martin Moscrop
– all got together in part to celebrate
completing the mix of their first new album in over a decade, ACR Loco.

The sessions that followed are unmistakably ACR: the energy and chemistry
of the band evokes the unbridled joy of their live performances and the
effortless fusing of the genre that has become their trademark.

ACR: “We’re so happy with the results and the outcome and hopefully this release
gives an insight into how much fun and energy Denise would always bring to a
session when we recorded together.”

This EP will always be a striking and heartbreaking memory of Denise Johnson ,
the magnificent soul voice, who sadly passed away last year in July. She was
only 56. Rest in peace.

ACR about Denise: “Denise was on top form and you will hear in places that she
isn’t actually singing words because we hadn’t written all the lyrics yet. At the end of
‘Down and Dirty’ you can hear us cheering in the background as Denise had completed
yet another fantastic vocal take and was laughing and saying ‘I enjoyed that’. We wanted
to keep all her laughter and our response in the track as it has such warmth and it
highlights the real Denise, always laughing and smiling and full of passion.”

Here’s the Saturday Night ACR Fever video for Keep It Together

Turn Up The Volume about the EP: ACR are as relevant as back in their Factory days.
ACR still knows how to fill a dance floor. ACR still has a sassy sonic soul. Have yourself a party. Start with foreplay track ‘Wonderland‘, then get steamed-up for the funky-as-hell-stomper ‘Keep It Together‘, keep on movin’ and groovin’ with Talking Heads vibe ‘Down And Dirty‘ before chilling out to ‘Feel No Fear‘. That felt mighty good, right? You betcha.

You can buy the EP
on Bandcamp

Dates: here

(image Denise Johnson: cover of her ‘Where Does It Go’ album)

PRINCE And JAMES BROWN Join Forces In Manchester – New Album ‘ACR LOCO’ By Post-Punk-Funk Legends A CERTAIN RATIO Out Now

25 September 2020

First album in 12 years

AllMusic/Andy Kellman verdict: “ACR Loco is freer in spirit and lighter in touch than their previous LP, Mind Made Up. While ACR could be forgiven for feeling the weight of a 40-year history, there’s a spring in their step… They’re as comfortable with referring to their past as they are with exhibiting old and new inspirations… it’s all put together in a way that only A Certain Ratio could possibly manage… forward motion and eternal optimism.”

Full review here.

Turn Up The Volume‘s first impressions: sounds like the late great sex machines Prince and James Brobn teamed up in ACR’s notorious Manchester haven, recording together in the infamous Haçienda night club with the band’s Jez Kerr in the production room.”

The good old days

R.I.P. Denise Johnson

Play That Funky Music Manchester Boys – Sweat To Techno Fueled Single ‘YO YO GI’ By A CERTAIN RATIO

Daily fuel to load your sonic batteries…

10 August 2020

Following last year’s career retrospective edition ACR:BOX Manchester’s
post-punk legends announced a new LP back in June called ACR Loco, to
be released in September. Simultaneously they made us dream with first
taster Always In Love.

And here ‘s another cut. YO YO GI sounds like if the band had a date with Chemical Brothers in the studio. Primarily instrumental, this is a tremendously groovy techno
fueled belter that pumps and jumps with an instant impact on your dance moves.
Be prepared to sweat to this funky music, folks.

The eye-popping clip was filmed in Tokyo.

Let’s yo yo

Also on Spotify

And here the dreamy and poppy first single


(Image on top: Festival Poster via FB A Certain Ratio)


3 April 2019

To celebrate their 40th birthday Greater Manchester‘s post-punk dance legends
A CERTAIN RATIO will release ACR:BOX, an extensive compilation featuring more
than 20 unreleased songs among its total of 54 tracks, on 3 May. More info here.
One of those previous unreleased cuts is ACR‘s rework of Talking Heads‘ stellar
cracker HOUSES IN MOTION from their great, fourth LP Remain In Light (1980).

Here’s the funky cover…


TURN UP THE VOLUME’S Knockout SEPTEMBER Team – Eleven Killer Tracks…

Eleven killer tracks on repeat this past month…

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Eleven killer tracks we played on repeat in September!
A crazed fusion of roaring rippers and galvanizing grooves
energizing all of our senses and our limbs this past month!
Here’s Turn Up The Volume‘s Knockout September Team!

1. ‘Dark Stains’ by EXPLODED VIEW (Mexico/Berlin)
A truly booming dance knockout. Its ongoing menacing and eurhythmic vibrancy is simply irresistible and will put a spell on your senses. New album Obey out today. Stream here.


2. ‘Dirty Boy’ feat. Barry Adamson by A CERTAIN RATIO (Manchester, UK)
The veteran Manchester post punks still make your hips sway uncontrollably. With special guest (ex-Magazine) Barry Adamson you can hit the dance floor and funk yourself dizzy…


3. ‘Danny Nedelko’ by IDLES (Bristol, UK)
A moshpit punk uppercut from the band’s smashing new longplayer Joy As An Act Of Resistance. It will catapult this hot-blooded gang of misfits into the premier rock league.

IDLES: Facebook

4. ‘Get Along’ by FADE AWAAYS (Toronto, Canada)
This loud-mouthed corker, made to energize mad crowds, confirms that guitar rock is still alive and kicking! Expect uproarious riffs, a pumping bass/drums force and a killer chorus.


5. ‘Bigfoot’ by DIANE GRACE (Belgium)
Demonic and exorcistic, yet catchy as bloody hell. Hot boiling ripper from this up and coming punk desperados’ debut EP ‘Panic!’. Stream/buy the whole shebang right here.


6. ‘When We Left’ by SOMEDAYS (London, UK)
Its glowing drive, its tenacious pace and its confident dynamic will vitalize your adrenaline’s stream and will activate your nerves. The Strokes are dead! Long live Somedays! Damn right.

SOMEDAYS: Facebook

7. ‘Graphite’ by TWIST HELIX (Newcastle upon Tyne. UK)
Here’s a wholehearted, passion injected synths power stroke. Ardent, blazing and totally infectious. An anxious crackerjack strongly intensified by frontwoman Bea Garcia‘s vox.


8. ‘The Present’ by MOVIESTAR feat. Professor Elemental (Oslo, Norway)
This is a funky hippy-hoppy party humdinger featuring the wacko steampunk-rapper Professor Elemental. Its funny, trippy, poppy, dancey and totally contagious all the way.


9. ‘The Beast Of Love’ by HERSELF Featuring JONATHAN DONAHUE (Italy/US)
A stirring ballad feat. Jonathan Donahue, angelic vox of legendary New York dreamers Mercury Rev. The song resonates like a sensitive symphony growing fuller along its starry-eyed path. New LP by Herself aka Italian singer/songwriter Gioele Valenti out 19th October.

HERSELF: Facebook

10. ‘Young Fools’ by SMALL MILLION (Portland, Oregon, US)
A highly charming pop pearl with singer Malachi Graham‘s gracious vox turning the sticky melody into a moony reverie. Ryan Linder‘s poetic guitar play adds magic to this beauty.


11. ‘As One’ by SUEDE (London, UK)
Grand and epic symphony. It’s the magnificent opener from the glam rockers’ new album ‘The Blue Hour‘. There’s a phenomenal choir in there that just blows my mind. Top score!

SUEDE: Facebook

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See/hear you next month, music junkies


Remarkable albums from the past…

Released: 1982 / The band’s third longplayer

PITCHFORK review: “‘Sextet’ is either that era’s creepiest, boggiest dance album or its funkiest smear of brittle art-noise… One axis of the Sextet-era band is Tilson, who’s as odd a vocalist as they could have picked. She’s perpetually lagging behind the beat and beneath the pitches for which she’s reaching, and she swallows her words, as if she’s struggling to repeat them to herself… meanwhile Kerr and Johnson are doing their damnedest to play funk as hard as the Sugar Hill Records house band–hitting precise, clipped grooves while their band mates run interference with haphazardly flung splashes of atonal piano and dissonant horn bleats… ‘Sextet’ is a gorgeous mess, slumped against the back wall of the best dance club in town.” – Score: 8/10 – Full review here

TURN UP THE VOLUME says: Highly infectious funk eccentricity standing the test of time brilliantly! Blow the horns, hit the bass and shake your booty, folks! My favorite tracks: Lucinda / Knife Slits Water / Skipscada

Album in full…
A CERTAIN RATIO: Facebook – Website – All Albums

(Gig poster ACR via FB ACR)