Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|A Certain Ratio|
Looking for a Certain Ratio
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, World Music, Rock
loteq | Regensburg | 12/05/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Similar to other 'Factory bands', ACR made their way from relative obscurity to cult status through several innovative EP/single releases ("Shack up", "Do the Du", "Blown away") and live performances at the local dance clubs in Manchester. The band's edgy industrial-funk began to change into a more mainstream-oriented pop sound when they signed to A&M Records in the mid-'80s; however, the expected commercial breakthrough with 1989's solid "Good together" proved to be a flop. They returned to independent companies with 1992's "Up in Downsville", and the reason behind the release of "Looking for ACR" was the takeover of the band's backcatalogue by Creation Records in the mid-'90s. But instead of re-releasing ACR's great singles collection "The old and the new", Creation decided to put out this poor remix album, probably without the permission of the band. Whereas the 1990 remix effort "ACR:MCR" sometimes improved on earlier versions of songs, all of the remixes on "Looking.." are notably inferior to the original songs. This may be a surprise, since the list of remixers reads like a who's who of Manchester's music scene: Electronic, 808 State's Graham Massey, Sub Sub, Way Out West, The Other Two (Gillian and Stephen of New Order), among others. Although all these artists are on the same musical wavelength as ACR, they have taken a very lackluster and boring approach to the idea of clothing ACR's classic songs in trendy garments, and this is what makes up much of "Looking..": Remove the ACR-typical guitar lines, take away most of the lyrics and melodies, add a few unnecessary sound effects, and throw a formulaic dance loop over the top. There are even some songs which have become totally unrecognizable, having nothing to do with ACR's original ideas. For example, Electronic's remix of "Shack up" features re-recorded guitars and vocals and transforms this once great song into a bland, radio-friendly tune. "Flight" gets the remix treatment by Graham Massey and fares somewhat better; a strong, pulsating dance beat is joined by an atmospheric synth background and Ian Curtis-like vocals which veer between being buried in the mix and becoming more prominent. Sub Sub add a lightweight trip-hop rhythm to "There's only this", and The Other Two turn "Bootsy" into a pumping acid-house track circa 1989. Apart from the aforementioned songs, "Looking.." is so unmemorable and tuneless that it's not even serviceable for the dancefloor. Too many of the pieces have lost their edge in these devastating reworkings and lack the unique blend of post-punk guitar rock, heavy funk and world music which made ACR's early output so interesting. Put simply, this is the worst kind of remix album I can imagine. I really recommend you to forget this disc and to look for ACR's original albums and singles instead."