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I'd Like to See You Again

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Album Review

Following the new wave classic Sextet, this Manchester/New York post-punk funk unit's third album, I'd Like to See You Again, points toward a more minimal, stripped-down funk sound. This was apparently influenced heavily by the New York club scene of the early '80s, in which A Certain Ratio immersed themselves following their formation in Manchester. The departure of vocalist Martha Tilson left the band working in a more rhythmic instrumental approach, eschewing the pop forms of Sextet and focusing on a harder electro-funk sound. While this revealed the influence of time spent in club culture and marked a radical departure from the melancholy Manchester sound of their previous albums, the band kept their melodic passages intact, which created a tension between bright and dark moods that was the striking characteristic of their best work. The fact that this album fared well on the dancefloor some 20 years after its release may indicate that A Certain Ratio was ahead of their time. Their influence could be heard cropping up in strains of the Brit-pop, techno, post-rock, and house of the late '90s. Hence, I'd Like to See You Again is an album that deserves a revisit. Essential listening for fans of the Factory sound that spawned the British club sound exemplified by New Order and the New York wave of minimal funk groups, like Liquid Liquid and ESG.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Though formed in Manchester's late-'70s punk scene, A Certain Ratio used an increasing amount of electronics throughout the '80s to become more of a dancefloor-oriented band, much like Factory labelmates New Order. The group (whose name is a pointer to a Brian Eno song) was formed in 1977 by vocalists Simon Topping and Martha Tilson, bassist Jeremy Kerr, guitarist Peter Terrell, and guitarist/trumpeter Martin Moscrop — drummer Donald Johnson later joined as the drummer. New Order manager Rob...
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