A Certain Ratio - The Graveyard And The Ballroom LP


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Label: Mute

Our Review:

A Certain Ratio is one of the early bands the Manchester post-punk community alongside Joy Division and The Durutti Column who all were at the heart of Factory Records. Taking their name from a Brian Eno lyric, A Certain Ratio crafted a sound that evolved through the bleak references of post-punk into a groove-oriented, funk-pop ensemble by the mid-'80s.

Factory Records signed A Certain Ratio in 1979 and released this cassette early the next year. The material included demo sessions recorded at Graveyard Studios and an exceptional live recording at the Electric Ballroom in support of Joy Division. During these recordings, A Certain Ratio found tremendous success through the tension between the two dominant personalities of the group. On one hand, there is Simon Topping with his grim poetry barked in a desperate baritone voice; and on the other, there is the self-professed Parliament fan Donald Johnson behind the drum kit. These two are buttressed by a choppy guitar angularity and potent basslines that aligned the band much closer to the post-punk grooviness of James Chance or ESG. "Do The Du" and "All Night Party" both rank as two of the punchiest death-disco tracks found on Factory.