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.”
Watch the lyric video that pays homage to SAMO’s graffiti and the work of Basquiat BELOW:
‘SAMO’ follows recent singles ‘Afro Dizzy’ (which spent four weeks on the BBC 6Music playlist) and ‘Waiting on a Train’ which both 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.
Even by the band’s high standards – which includes a gleeful disregard for boundaries of style and genre, their eye fixed firmly on constant movement forwards – their latest studio album 1982 is multidimensional. Recorded by the core ACR line up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson, alongside Tony Quigley, Matthew Steele and Ellen Beth Abdi, with a cameo from Mancunian rapper Chunky, it shoots off in every direction, whether via searing Afrobeat, mind-melting jazz breakdowns or moody electronic experiments.
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.
Looking backwards and forwards all at once, drawing on influences from across every spectrum, 1982 is an unpredictable record that will reward a dedicated listener dozens of times over.
To celebrate the release of the album, A Certain Ratio will be embarking on a UK tour throughout April – full details below.
A CERTAIN RATIO – 2023 TOUR
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 w/ Chris Hawkins (BBC 6Music) / signing
1 April – London, Rough Trade East – Q&A w/ John Kennedy (Radio X) / signing
2 April – Nottingham, Rough Trade – Q&A w/ Paul A Taylor (Mute) / signing
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