Holy Smoke – Out Now!

With their latest studio album, 1982, tantalisingly in reach, A Certain Ratio have shared a final taste of what to expect with the glistening old-school funk of ‘Holy Smoke’. The new single finds ACR pay tribute to the genre’s forefathers, from James Brown to Chaka Khan to Prince.

The band’s latest album, 1982, is set for release on 31 March via Mute on vinyl, CD and digitally.

‘Holy Smoke’ follows their single ‘SAMO’ (currently on the BBC 6Music playlist), ‘Afro Dizzy’ (which spent four weeks on the BBC 6Music playlist) and ‘Waiting on a Train’ – the latter three all feature one of Manchester’s fastest-rising neo-soul musicians Ellen Beth Abdi, Though a newcomer to A Certain Ratio, she’s already as central to the process as the members who’ve been there since the 1970s – saying a lot about the band’s progressive instincts and willingness to keep A Certain Ratio deft.

Sold Out In Edinburgh

We’re delighted to confirm that the first show of our 2023 UK tour in Edinburgh at The Voodoo Rooms is now sold out. We’re looking forward to seeing you there and across the UK this April.

April 20th – Edinburgh, Voodoo Rooms

April 21st – Huddersfield, The Parish

April 22nd – Manchester, New Century Hall

April 23rd – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club

April 25th – Nottingaham, Rescue Rooms

April 26th – Birmingham, Hare and Hounds

April 27th – Bristol, The Exchange

April 29th – London, The Garage

SAMO – Out Now!

A Certain Ratio have shared the newest slice of what to expect from their forthcoming studio album, 1982, due out on Mute on 31 March 2023. Across the slick and punchy funk grooves of ‘SAMO’ – named after the graffiti tag of American artist and wunderkind, Jean-Michel Basquiat – Jez Kerr namechecks a string of figures from New York’s 1980s art scene, an environment which has held massive sway over the band since their time recording there in the 1980s.

He explains, “The song is all about Basquiat and the birth of Hip Hop. We were lucky enough to be in NY around that time, and some of the lyrics in the song are the unique phrases SAMO sprayed around the city.”

Listen to the track and watch the lyric video that pays homage to SAMO’s graffiti and the work of Basquiat below.

Afro Dizzy + UK Tour News

A Certain Ratio have shared their seazing afrobeat-inspired track, ‘Afro Dizzy’, writtenaround drum samples recorded by the late Nigerian master percussionist Tony Allen. The new single is the latest clue of what to expect from their forthcoming studio album, 1982 – out on Mute on 31 March 2023.

‘Afro Dizzy’ features one of Manchester’s fastest-rising neo-soul musicians Ellen Beth Abdi, Though a newcomer to A Certain Ratio, it says a lot about the band’s progressive instincts that she’s already as central to the process as the members who’ve been there since the 1970s. For ‘Afro Dizzy’ she penned her own lyrics around a whirling instrumentalbased on a sample pack of drums by Tony Allen. ACR, who have long idolised Allen, had hoped to one day work with him, and wrote the music for the track just days after he died, in 2020.

Watch the video, an animation from artist and musician Tom Furse, and keep your eyes peeled for Tony Allen, who can be seen via archive footage.

To celebrate the release of the album, A Certain Ratio will be embarking on a UK tour throughout April – full details below.

20 April – Edinburgh, Voodoo Rooms
21 April – Huddersfield, The Parish
22 April – Manchester, New Century Hall
23 April – Leeds, Brudenell
25 April – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
26 April – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
27 April – Bristol, The Exchange
29 April – London, The Garage

Before that, the band will be hosting a number of special Q&A / signing events in partnership with independent record shops in Manchester, Nottingham and London:

31 March – Manchester, Piccadilly Records – Q&A / signing
1 April – London, Rough Trade East – Q&A / signing
2 April – Nottingham, Rough Trade – Q&A / signing


A Certain Ratio have shared a new track, ‘Waiting on a Train’, the first to be taken from their forthcoming studio album, 1982, scheduled for release on Mute on 31 March 2023.

A Certain Ratio’s greatest strength has always been their unpredictability – “That’s what people like about us, they don’t know what’s coming next!” explains Jez Kerr – and this new track ushers that in via the slick and charismatic presence of Mancunian rapper Chunky . Chunky trades bars with the vocals of one of Manchester’s fastest-rising neo-soul musicians Ellen Beth Abdi, who you’ll recognise from the ACR live line up in recent years, resulting in a track unlike anything the band have made to date.

Watch the video for ‘Waiting on a Train’, directed by Rollcam Directors, produced by Joe Vickers with Jan Koblanski as Director of Photography:

‘Waiting on a Train’ began life as a lo-fi hip hop jam in the studio, and it made perfect sense to bring in both Chunky and Ellen – already good friends outside of A Certain Ratio.

“It worked really well, there’s great chemistry between them,” Martin Moscrop continues. “It’s got the right amount of pop, the right amount of surrealism, the right amount of moodiness. It just works.”
Since they emerged from the hallowed grounds of the late 70s punk scene, A Certain Ratio have moved with gleeful disregard for boundaries of style and genre, their eye fixed firmly on constant progression. It’s an ethos that’s open-minded over all else, and that’s seen them take everything from experimental electronica to vintage funk, filtered through their own Mancunian lens.

Even by the band’s own standards, however, their latest studio album 1982 is multidimensional. It shoots off in every direction, whether via searing Afrobeat, mind- melting jazz breakdowns or moody electronic experiments. Recorded by the core ACR line up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson, alongside Tony Quigley, Matthew Steele and Ellen Beth Abdi, soon after their 2021 triptych of EPs and 2020’s ACR Loco, the band’s pleasure at being together in the studio is audible and follows a series of dates that have seen them perform at a huge variety of festivals, including Womad, Wide Awake, Blue Dot, Green Man, Latitude and the Manchester Warehouse Project, in recent years.

And the album title? Although 1982 might conjure memories of the year that saw ACR put out both the acclaimed Sextet and the cult favourite I’d Like To See You Again, it’s more of a playful red herring than an invitation to nostalgia. Like all the band’s best ideas it emerged spontaneously in the studio when Martin was ad-libbing into a vocoder. “It’s called ‘1982’ but I wouldn’t say this album sounds anything like ‘Sextet’,” he points out.
Adds Donald: “The title is just playful. People can take it whichever way they can.”

Looking backwards and forwards all at once, drawing on influences from across every spectrum, 1982 is a record that will reward a dedicated listener dozens of times over.

Waiting on a Train
A Trip in Hulme
Constant Curve
Afro Dizzy
Holy Smoke
Tier 3
Ballad of ACR
Constant Curve


A Certain Ratio continue an incredible run of releases and touring, one that has marked a dynamic new phase in their career, with details of LOCO REMEZCLADA: a collection of entirely new mixes and reworkings of tracks from across their recent catalogue. Out on 5 November 2021 on double clear vinyl, triple sparkle vinyl, CD and digitally, the new album takes in 2020’s acclaimed ACR LOCO album alongside ‘Down and Dirty’ featuring Denise Johnson, taken from EPA, the first in a trip of EPs released this year: https://mute.ffm.to/acr-remez

LOCO REMEZCLADA features a diverse range of artists, each bringing their own take on the band’s material and list of remixers – which includes Dan Carey, The Orielles, LoneLady, Sink Ya Teeth, The Lounge Society, Lou Hayter, Skream, Colleen Cosmo Murphy and many more – were all chosen by the band, who explain, “We took time to consider who we’d like to have involved, who we admired, who we love hanging out with, who we couldn’t wait to hear what they came up with.”

Dan Carey’s ‘Down & Dirty (Mr Dan Remix)’ opens LOCO REMEZCLADA and the producer, songwriter, mixer and founder of Speedy Wunderground brings his inimitable touch to ‘Down & Dirty’, one of the last tracks ACR recorded with Denise Johnson who passed away unexpectedly last year. 

Listen to the track here: https://youtu.be/ocd-HDJVA_Q 

Carey explains, “A long time ago when I was a teenager, I was out in Manchester and spotted a poster that said something about A Certain Ratio remixed by Norman Cook. At the time I didn’t really know what a remix was, who Norman Cook was, or who/what A Certain Ratio was, but somehow I knew it was worth investigating. As a result, I discovered ACR, figured out what remixes were, and started trying do my own. I’ve loved ACR ever since, and got pretty involved in production and remixing, so it meant a lot being asked to do this. It also meant a lot to work with one of the last vocal tracks that Denise recorded.”

Elsewhere on the album, Maps remix ‘Get A Grip’, The Orielles reimagine ‘Yo Yo Gi’, Sink Ya Teeth (who collaborated with ACR on the last studio album) take on ‘What’s Wrong’, Lou Hayter mixes ‘Friends Around Us’ and LoneLady gives ‘Bouncy Bouncy’ the 12” remix treatment.


A Certain Ratio announce the second EP in a series of three, ACR:EPC – out on 2 July 2021 on cornflower blue vinyl and digitally here.

The new EP, which focusses on the art of collaboration and is dedicated to Andrew Weatherall, launches today with ‘Emperor Machine’. ACR and The Emperor Machine’s collaboration came about after a chance meeting at an Andrew Weatherall Weekender outside Todmorden’s infamous Golden Lion. Andrew Meecham (aka The Emperor Machine) explains, “It was Martin who suggested we should maybe collaborate so I sent him a track I’
been working on and when I received the track back, I’ve got to be honest, I was a bit nervous because I’m an ACR fan and wanted to be so perfect. I put my headphones on, pressed play and it totally blew me away. It was just what I was hoping for and more.”

ACR are long-time fans – Jez and Martin often include The Emperor Machine in their DJ sets and describe the track as “a perfect collaboration of ACR & The Emperor Machine.”

Watch the video, by Groovy Chaos, here.


A Certain Ratio today release their ACR:EPA on limited edition Valentine red vinyl and digitally: https://mute.ffm.to/acrepa

Featuring the singles ‘Keep It Together’ and ‘Wonderland’, the four-track EP pays tribute to Denise Johnson who unexpectedly passed away in 2020, and marks their final recordings together. The EP centres around a joyous jam session from March 2020 when the band – Denise Johnson, Tony Quigley, Matthew Steele, Jez Kerr, Donald Johnson and Martin Moscrop – gathered at Oxygene in Salford for an informal weekend of studio time, in part to celebrate completing the mix of their first new album in over a decade, ACR Loco.

You can even hear the band cheering and Denise laughing at the end of ‘Down and Dirty (Jam 2), the band explain, “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.”

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.

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