Already one of the finest albums of tthe year, A Certain Ratio ‘s 1982 is a series of neon squiggly graffiti lines – not least because it references Jean Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol in ‘Samo’ , an old school funky jam named after Basquiat’s graffiti tag.
But that very specific nod to the 80s is only one side of the coin. ‘Afro Dizzy’ is a full on Afrobeat jam, the title track bubbles with sci-fi, post- Kraftwerk playfulness and ‘Waiting On A Train’ is zesty and zeitgeist -y, absolutely of the moment, featuring Manchester rapper Chunky.
Of course, nothing can replace ACR’s frequent collaborator Denise Johnson, who sadly passed away recently, but Ellen Beth Abdi provides gloriously soulful vocals, particularly on ‘Constant Curve’.
Clearly, ACR still hit the sweet spot between experimentation and catchy pop which both transcends and celebrates its disparate influences – hip hop, jazz, funk and soul.
Out now via Mute Records