A Certain Ratio have shared their searing afrobeat-inspired track, ‘Afro Dizzy’, written around 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: https://mute.ffm.to/acr-1982

‘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 instrumental based 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.

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, 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.

Tune in to Soho Radio tonight from 8pm GMT, when Martin joins Chris Massey (Sprechen Music) on his ‘Thief of Time’ Soho Radio show with a 45-minute mix.

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

Search and buy tour tickets below right now.