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Now Hear This: A Certain Ratio | ACR Loco

I'm getting caught up on the good albums that have come out lately. Like this one.

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THE PRESS RELEASE:A Certain Ratio are back with a new album, ACR Loco. Revitalized by their most successful tour in over two decades, the band returned to the studio to record their first album in 12 years.

ACR Loco was recorded by the core lineup of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson, with contributions from the ACR live lineup — Tony Quigley adds sax, Denise Johnson adds vocals and Matt Steele provides keyboards. Additional guests include Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford, Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and Manchester luminaries Mike Joyce and Eric Random.

“This album is a culmination of everything we’ve ever done,” explains Kerr. The album distills 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] 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.”