A Certain Ratio Unveil New Video for Unreleased Track "Houses In Motion"; Taken From The Grace Jones Session

Photo: Kevin Cummins (hi-res)
"...ACR made some of the most seminal yet underrated post-punk, avant-pop, and tweaked funk of an era filled with hybrid explorations…one of the most vital bands of their time." – PITCHFORK

A CERTAIN RATIO – who celebrate their 40th anniversary this year – have shared a new video for “Houses In Motion,” an unreleased track taken from the new box set, acr:box, out May 3 on Mute. Watch the video, directed by Groovy Chaos, at Brooklyn Vegan.

This unreleased version is reworked from original tapes, recorded in 1980 with Martin Hannett. The 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, England, 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.

Of the song, Kerr says, "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."

acr:box was remastered by Martin Moscrop at Abbey Road studios. Featuring over 20 unreleased tracks, the box set will be available as a seven-piece colored vinyl set, a four-CD set and a digital album. Pre-order acr:box here.

Back sharing a label with Factory label-mates New Order, A Certain Ratio's collaboration with Mute has seen their full studio album catalog made available again.

Following on from 2018’s compilation, acr:set, the box showcases the diversity of the singles, B-sides and alternative versions of tracks that A Certain Ratio have released, but without repeating tracks recently made available. acr:box collates everything that fans had been missing from the recent reissue campaign and compliments that with a selection found after a deep delve into the archive to find all the hidden gems that had been talked about over the years, but never heard – even a few releases the band had forgotten about!

The box set marks the 40th anniversary of A Certain Ratio’s debut release – the Martin Hannett produced “All Night Party” (Factory Records’ first single release) – which was described recently by Record Collector as “a statement of future intentions: to set funk off against nervous angst.” They 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,” represented here via a radio edit from Electronic, featuring Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr.

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. Highlighted recently by FACT who said, “Their dub-infused punk-funk recordings have proved massively influential over the past thirty years, and Andy Weatherall has called them his favourite ever band (a prestigious accolade in our estimation),” the band have influenced generations of musicians including LCD Soundsystem, Happy Mondays, Franz Ferdinand, ESG, Factory Floor and Sink Ya Teeth.

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

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.

A Certain Ratio recently announced a 2-day ACR festival at Yes, in Manchester, England on May 24 (the anniversary of the actual release date of the original “All Night Party” 7”) and May 25 with live sets from Section 25, Sink Ya Teeth, Gabe Gurnsey, ShadowParty and Eric Random joining DJs Daniel Miller, The Other Two (Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert), Jon Dasilva, The Orielles and more for a takeover of all four floors of the venue. A Certain Ratio play three sets over the two nights, including a very special set with guests including past band members for a performance on May 25.

A Certain Ratio 2019 Tour
April 27 – Barrow-in-Furness, England – Barrow Underground Music Society
May 4 –London, England – Islington Assembly Hall
May 10 –  Wolverhampton, England – Newhampton Arts Centre
May 11 – Belfast, Northern Ireland – Cathedral Quarter Festival
May 23 – Liverpool, England – Phase One
May 24 – Manchester, England – Yes ACR TAKEOVER
May 25 – Manchester, England – Yes ACR TAKEOVER
May 30 – Sheffield, England – The Leadmill (Steel Bar)
May 31 – Newcastle, England – Riverside
June 1 – Edinburgh, Scotland – The Voodoo Rooms
June 2 – Leamington Spa, England – Zephr Lounge
August 16 – Abbots Ripton, England – We Out Here Festival
August 17 – Brecon Beacons, Wales – Green Man Festival
August 18 – Durham, England – Hardwick Live Festival
October 24 – Leige, Belgium – Le Reflector
October 26 – The Hague, Netherlands – T’Paard
October 27 – Cologne, Germany – MTC
October 28 – Berlin, Germany – Columbia Theatre
October 29 – Hamburg, Germany – Uebel und Gefrahrlich
November 2 – Dublin, Ireland – The Sugar Club
November 8 – Cardiff, Wales – Clwb Ifor Bach
November 9 – Birmingham, England – The Crossing
November 15 – Stoke-on-Trent, England – The Sugarmill
November 16 – Glasgow, Scotland – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
November 17 – Huddersfield, England – The Parish
December 6 – Stockton-on-Tees, England – The Georgian Theatre
December 7 – Nottingham, England – Rescue Rooms