A Certain Ratio – Early
CD Album, UK 2002
Soul Jazz Records
Factory Records hit me hard as a young man in his super early 20's. Joy Division spoke to me at that age, and also the visuals were incredibly important as well. Ian Curtis was so haunted, it made my heart ache. But now, I can barely listen to their music. Not that I hate it, but more to the fact that the music doesn't speak for me anymore. I used it, it used me, and I was satisfied. Next!
For that label, and what a more lasting effect, is A Certain Ratio. The visuals of the band were even more striking to me than Joy Division. They had this sort of Lawrence of the Arabia without the robes look. Military baggy shorts, 1930's haircuts, thick boy scout or military socks that go up to the knee, and basically sort of look like British prisoners of war circa the early days of World War 2. And the music is …. dub jazz funk. It was like if Miles Davis started a British band in the late 70's. To me I think this was Factory Records head Tony Wilson's great discovery.
Early is the ultimate collection of all the early and hard to find singles by A Certain Ratio. The spacey dub effects and the self-obsessed funk makes this band the bad and slightly darker version of Joy Division's rock stance. If Ian and company looked up to Iggy, The Doors, and Velvets, then A Certain Ratio looked up to obscure funk singles and Miles electric music era. In many ways they perfectly complimented each other. But the lasting effect for me is A Certain Ratio.