acr:mcr

Keep It Together- Out Now!

Following the track’s premiere on the BBC 6Music breakfast show earlier today, we’re pleased to share the video for the new track ‘Keep It Together’.

Manchester video makers Luke Logan (director) and Joe Vickers (producer) created the psychedelic video, which opens at Stockport Plaza.

“We wanted it to be set in the ‘70s so we invited ACR fans to dress up and become part of the video, among the extras that turned up were Calder Valley’s finest The Lounge Society and Lee from Manchester’s Heavy Salad. They arrived as funkateers, punks, soul boys and girls, hippies, post punks and prog rockers – and everyone looked amazing. The video is about overdoing it on a night out and trying to keep it together.”  ACR

Watch the video here.

Keep It Together’ is the latest track to be taken from the forthcoming ACR:EPA, out on Mute on 7 May 2021. The four-track EP centres around a jam session recorded last year with Denise Johnson, sessions that unexpectedly became their last together after the much-loved and much-missed artist passed away several months later. Pre-order here.

Wonderland- Out Now!

Wonderland- Out Now!

‘Wonderland’ is the first track to be taken from ACR:EPA, out on Mute on 7
May 2021.

Back in early 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 – Martin Moscrop, Jez Kerr, Donald Johnson, Denise Johnson, Anthony Quigley and Matt Steele – entered the studio in part to celebrate completing the mix of their first new album in over a decade, ACR Loco.

‘Wonderland’ is unmistakably ACR, their fusing of genre is impossible to pin down but the rhythmic groove and Denise’s vocal evokes a dreamlike idyll.

ACR:EPA, is a four-track collection that centres around the studio jams with Denise Johnson. These sessions became their last together after the much-loved and much-missed artist passed away unexpectedly several months after the recordings.

ACR LOCO Editions

A Certain Ratio celebrate a busy year with the release of a limited edition series of vinyl releases of their first four albums – the ACR Loco editions – due out on 11 December 2020 (15 January in N America).

The Graveyard and The Ballroom, Sextet, I’d Like To See You Again and To Each will all get the ACR Loco treatment, each album will be available on white vinyl in specially adapted black and white artwork. Each limited to 1000 copies worldwide.

Order here >> mute.ffm.to/acr-wv

YOYOGRIP

Following the release of ACR Loco – described by Uncut as “their best LP in decades” – A Certain Ratio return with a new single, ‘YoYoGrip’ accompanied by a mesmerising animation by Griff, created using rubber Japanese Kinnikuman wrestler figures from the ‘80s. 

The new single, a collaboration with producer and mixer Jacknife Lee, marries two of the new album’s standout tracks, ‘YoYo Gi’ and ‘Get A Grip’. After hearing their track ‘Lucinda’ feature on Jacknife Lee’s guest mix for BBC 6Music, ACR got in touch, discovered he was a fan and the conversation went from there, “Seeing that Jacknife Lee had produced and mixed some of the biggest artists in the world (U2, REM, The Killers, Editors, Taylor Swift, Bloc Party, Robbie Williams) it was a bit of a curveball for us, but we like the unexpected and we’re glad we took the chance.” The band go on to explain, “Jacknife Lee took two songs that were totally different tempos and keys (one is a 99 bpm Funk chugger and the other is a 126bpm banger aimed at the dancefloor) and joined them up perfectly using the best elements of each song.”

Jacknife Lee expands, “When I was a kid in Dublin, my older brother Derek bought ‘Shack Up’ and we listened to it so much it embedded itself into our DNA. We learnt how to play it, formed bands and we played ‘Shack Up’ in the school halls. It was a thrill to me to make the connection with ACR and I’m ecstatic that the collaboration worked.”

The track melds ‘YoYo Gi’, influenced by the Tokyo neighbourhood of the same name, with ‘Get A Grip’, which features Maria Uzor of Sink Ya Teeth. She reminisces, “I remember being pretty excited when they first asked about the collaboration. I mean, when you start a band you don’t expect to end up collaborating with one of your influences!”As well as this collaboration with Jacknife Lee and Maria Uzor, ACR have been in the studio recently crafting reworks for Baba Ali, Number and AK/DK.  

New Single ‘Berlin’ + 2021 UK Tour

A CERTAIN RATIO have shared the brilliant video for ‘Berlin’, the latest single to be taken from their eagerly anticipated new album, ACR Loco – due out on Mute on 25 September 2020.

Over the last few months, the band have shared a taste of the directions and styles distilled into their forthcoming new album. From ‘Friends Around Us (Part 2)’ to ‘Always in Love’ via the Tokyo suburbs on ‘Yo Yo Gi’, now comes the brand new single ‘Berlin’. ACR Loco, explains Jez Kerr, “…is a culmination of everything we’ve ever done.”

‘Berlin’ also includes the beautiful voice of Denise Johnson, who sadly passed away in July this year. “Denise will be missed so much by us,” says Martin Moscrop, “but her soaring voice will live on forever in our music and we are so blessed to have recorded with her on ACR Loco.”


Watch the Groovy Chaos directed video here: https://youtu.be/hpcIlvzRO8U

The album’s release on Friday 25 September will be marked by a very special online event. An Evening with A Certain Ratio will see the band will play their new album in full at the Hope Mill Recording Studio following an exclusive premiere of their 2019 hit-laden gig for the Manchester Warehouse Project’s Haçienda night. The band will also be in conversation, with a  Q&A  and to finish, expect one of the band’s infamous ACR Soundsystem DJ sets. To book your ticket, visit: www.livefrom.events/ACR

Looking ahead to 2021, A Certain Ratio will be continuing their run of unmissable dates with a winter tour, starting in Huddersfield on 3 November, with a show at London’s EartH on 13 November, finishing at Glasgow King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut on 17 November.

ACR NOVEMBER 2021 TOUR DATES

3 Nov 2021 – Huddersfield, The Parish
4 Nov 2021 – Newcastle, St. Dom’s Social Club
5 Nov 2021 – Manchester, Gorilla
6 Nov 2021 – Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, The Sugarmill
7 Nov 2021 – York, The Crescent
9 Nov 2021 – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
10 Nov 2021 – Southampton, Engine Rooms
11 Nov 2021 – Brighton, CHALK (formerly The Haunt)
12 Nov 2021 – Bristol, The Exchange
13 Nov 2021 – London, EartH
15 Nov 2021 – Preston, The Ferrett
16 Nov 2021 – Leeds, The Warehouse
17 Nov 2021 – Glasgow, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

ACR Loco was recorded by the core line up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with contributions from the ACR live line up – Tony Quigley on sax, Denise Johnson on vocals and Matt Steele on keyboards. Additional guests include Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and Manchester luminaries Mike Joyce (The Smiths) and experimental multi-instrumentalist Eric Random.

Keen on the joys of collaboration and sharing, it makes sense that adding the ACR touch to other artists via a series of reworks led to their latest album taking shape. Recent reworks of tracks for the likes of Baba Ali, Maps, Number, Barry Adamson and The Charlatans saw the band return to the studio to unpick those original tracks. “The reworks were crucial,” says Donald Johnson. “They got us back in the studio and forced a union and a bond. They allowed us to start getting a groove again.”

The new 10-track album is out on CD, cassette and limited edition coloured vinyl. The vinyl will be available in one of four colours: white, blue, red and turquoise, randomly packed, with each colour of varying rarity.

An Evening With A Certain Ratio

Join ACR for an exclusive online event to mark the release of their new album ACR Loco

The band will stream a performance of their new album in full from the Hope Mill Recording Studio. 

ACR will also be in conversation, with Q&A (questions are invited from fans) and to finish, the band’s infamous ACR Soundsystem DJ Sets. 

Livestream – September 25th at 7pm BST

Book your tickets here >> www.livefrom.events/ACR

A statement on behalf of Denise’s family…

We’re so disappointed that what should be a fabulous celebration of Denise’s life has to be limited under the current restrictions, so have already started planning an event in her memory, on her birthday next summer: 31 July 2021.

Her funeral will take place at the Manchester Crematorium, Southern Cemetery at 1pm on Wednesday 19 August.

Due to restrictions on how many mourners are allowed inside the crematorium grounds, well-wishers are asked instead to line the route that Denise will take (see below).

Close friends have been invited to gather in the grounds of the cemetery, with family making up the very small number of guests allowed inside the chapel. We respectfully ask that anyone not already invited should take their place in the lining of the route instead.

Family flowers only: donations in lieu of floral tributes please to either The Music Venue Trust or Age UK, quoting “In memory of Denise Johnson.”

It’s hoped that Denise’s service will be available to view online, either live or shortly afterwards. Details / links will be made available as soon as possible. 

Everyone in Denise’s family has been stunned by how much love has poured from friends and colleagues around the country and from all corners of the world: they’ve found it so supportive after Denise’s sudden death, and their message to you all is, simply, “Thank you.”

Please line the route for Denise’s final journey:
Starting at approx 12.15pm on Manchester Road in Whalley Range (at the junction of Stratton Road) her route will be straight into Chorlton past the former Baths, Chorlton Library, continuing by the four banks and down Barlow Moor Road by the bus station, over the tramlines at the junction of Mauldeth Road / Hardy Lane, and finally to Southern Cemetery. 

NEW TRACK – YO YO GI AND A VERY SPECIAL ONLINE EVENT

A CERTAIN RATIO have shared a new track from their eagerly anticipated new album, ACR Loco. Revitalised by their most successful tour in over two decades, the band returned to the studio to record their first album in 12 years – due for release on Mute on 25 September 2020.

Listen to ‘Yo Yo Gi’ – an irresistible slice of ACR which fuses funk, techno and world music, in the way that only ACR can do – and watch the video, inspired by the Tokyo suburb it was named after from their visit earlier this year: https://youtu.be/pwW0DKsnT-I

The band have also announced details of a very special online event, An Evening with A Certain Ratio, on 25 September. To mark the album release, the band will play their new album in full at the Hope Mill Recording Studio following an exclusive premiere of their 2019 hit-laden gig for the Manchester Warehouse Project’s Haçienda night. The band will also be in conversation, with a  Q&A (questions are invited from fans) and to finish, expect one of the band’s infamous ACR Soundsystem DJ sets. To book your ticket, visit: www.livefrom.events/ACR

ACR Loco was recorded by the core line up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson with contributions from the ACR live line up – Tony Quigley on sax, Denise Johnson on vocals and Matt Steele on keyboards. Additional guests include Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and Manchester luminaries Mike Joyce (The Smiths) and experimental multi-instrumentalist Eric Random.

“This album is a culmination of everything we’ve ever done,” explains Kerr. The album distils the different directions and styles that have run throughout the band’s career – one that began in the late ‘70s with Factory Records first ever 7” release. “Digging into the past for the boxset [ACR:BOX was released in 2019 on Mute] must have rubbed off on us and influenced the current album,” says Moscrop. “I think it helped spark up our imagination. It allowed us to work in some of the past as we move forward into the future.”

Keen on the joys of collaboration and sharing, it makes sense that adding the ACR touch to other artists via a series of reworks led to their latest album taking shape. Recent reworks of tracks for the likes of Barry Adamson, The Charlatans and Maps saw the band return to the studio to unpick those original tracks. “The reworks were crucial,” says Donald Johnson. “They got us back in the studio and forced a union and a bond. They allowed us to start getting a groove again.” Kerr mirrors this. “We love doing the reworks because it’s just us doing our thing,” he says. “The three of us jamming is really the basis of it all. Once you get that groove there’s no stopping us.”

The new 10-track album is out on CD, cassette and limited edition coloured vinyl. The vinyl will be available in one of four colours: white, blue, red and turquoise, randomly packed, with each colour of varying rarity.

ACR LOCO TRACKLISTING

Friends Around Us
Bouncy Bouncy
Yo Yo Gi
Supafreak
Always In Love 
Family
Get A Grip
Berlin
What’s Wrong
Taxi Guy

Listen to ‘Always In Love’: https://youtu.be/8-xSJzgyNAA

An Evening with A Certain Ratio

7pm – ACR live at The Haçienda, The Warehouse Project (2019)

7.45pm – ACR in conversation

8.15pm – ACR perform ACR Loco live

9pm – ACR Soundsystem

10.30pm – ACR:END

Following the unexpected passing last week of Denise Johnson, long-time ACR collaborator and friend, a fund has been set up to assist with funeral costs: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/denise-johnson-funeral

Denise Johnson Statement

Photo by Pete Smith

Denise Johnson

31 July 1963 – July 2020 

Our beautiful and dear Denise has died suddenly at her home in Manchester. 

She had been ill in the week prior to her death but told friends she was “much better” on Friday. She was found on Monday morning and the cause of death is not yet known.

Although best known, and famous around the globe for her work with Primal Scream on their albums Screamadelica and Give Out But Don’t Give Up, she first came to ACR’s attention when we heard her beautiful voice on ‘Just a Little More’ by Fifth of Heaven in 1988.

Shortly after, she worked with Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson on an early Acid House track called ‘Acid to Ecstasy’ by ED209, released on Dave Rofe’s DFM label.

Denise also worked on Ashley & Jackson’s The Sermon and Solid Gold which Martin produced, before joining ACR in the studio to appear on the album ACR:MCR where her vocal skills come to the fore on ‘Be What You Wanna Be’.  

The rest is history and historic for ACR, Denise then appeared on ACR:MCR (1990), Up in Downsville (1992), Change The Station (1997), Mind Made Up (2008), She had also been in the studio with us recently and her beautiful voice is on our forthcoming album ACR Loco.

She has been an integral part of ACR’s live line-up since 1990 and has appeared over 200 times with the band in those 30 years, adding her uniqueness to the ACR catalogue pre and post 1990.

She provided guest vocals for New Order, Electronic. Gay Dad and Bernard Butler, to name but a few. She was also a staunch Manchester City supporter, loved them with all the passion you could hear in her singing voice.

More recently, she’d been performing acoustic sets with guitarist Thomas Twemlow, featuring covers of great Mancunian songs by artists such as Cherry Ghost, 10CC and New Order. They opened their Bluedot 2019 set with The Carpenters ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft’ – an appropriate choice for a gig in the shadows of Jodrell Bank’s Lovell Telescope. Her debut album, titled Where Does It Go, is due out in September.  

She’s irreplaceable as a person and an artist, ACR are devastated at this loss, we’ll miss her infectious sense of humour and the soaring beauty and passion she brought to our music and our lives. 

ACR – Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson

Denise Johnson 1963 – 2020

It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beautiful dear friend Denise has passed away.

A full statement will be released later, for now please give her family and friends the space they need. Spend sometime listening to her wonderful voice, remembering her loving nature and infectious sense of humour.

Love you loads D. Jez, Martin, Donald, Tony & Matt xx