Veteran Manchester group A Certain Ratio had a very busy year, releasing a series of three EPs, which were hot on the heels of 2020 album ACR Loco. Each EP had its own theme: ACR:ERA celebrated collaboration and paid tribute to singer Denise Johnson who died from Covid last year; ACR:EPC paid tribute to the late Andy Weatherall; and ACR:EPR which was a no-rules, anything-goes free-for-all (order on limited edition, transparent amber vinyl). All three are great and compliment the equally excellent ACR Loco. They also released Loco Remezclada, which features remixes by Dan Carey, Lou Hayter, The Orielles, LoneLady, Maps, Sink Ya Teeth, Skream, and more.

A Certain Ratio are voracious music fans who still have their finger on the pulse, and we asked if they'd tell us about their favorite music of 2021. Check out their Top 10, complete with commentary, below.

You can pick up A Certain Ratio's third EP of 2021, ACR:EPR, on exclusive, limited edition translucent amber vinyl (only 250 made) in the BV shop. You can also get the EP as part of the Indie Basement Bundle that also comes with vinyl copies of My Bloody Valentine's repress of 2013's mbvSpiritualized's new reissue of Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in spaceJarvis Cocker's Chansons d'Ennui Tip Top (his French covers album companion to Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch). It's $124 worth of records for $109, grab yours today!


Kaidi Tatham - An Insight To All Minds
First Word Records are a great label and this is a great album. Broken Beats, Future Jazz, UK’s answer to Herbie Hancock…… call it what you want but this certainly got us going when we heard it.

Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
We remember hearing “The Creator Has A Master Plan“ in the '80s, we loved the hypnotic nature of it. This record is also very hypnotic and sounds truly organic.

Lady Blackbird - Black Acid Soul
A beautifully recorded album with minimal acoustic instrumentation and a stunning vocal performance which redefines excellence. A modern day classic in the same realm of “What’s Going On”. Outstanding!!

Sault - Nine
Sault are nearly as prolific as ACR at the moment but we beat them in 2021. Anything that Inflo produces sounds amazing. Lots of live instruments and production that doesn’t sound like it cost a fortune or took months to make.

Emanative and Liz Elensky - The Volume of Light
We first heard this team on a single called "Planet B" which sounds like future Punk Jazz. Funk. Nick Emanative is a great drummer and producer and Liz is an amazing singer. Put the two together and it’s bound to turn out well.

St Vincent - Daddy’s Home
A sometimes psychedelic opus which contains a mixture of squelchy Sophistifunk, laced with some on the money simple song construction. Mixed with lots of Fender Rhodes keys, arrangements to rival Steely Dan and top lyrics. Definitely some of Annie’s best work.

Gemma Cullingford - Let Me Speak
Our good friend Gemma from Sink Ya Teeth’s debut solo album. If you thought this one was good, wait until you hear the next one. We reworked "Wide Boys" off the album for her and really loved working on it.

STR4TA - Aspects
From our good friend and supporter Gilles Peterson. This is Brit Jazz Funk from the '70s and '80s regurgitated and sent into the future.

Jane Weaver – Flock
Our ex Rob’s Records label mate just gets better and better. This album is filled full of hooks, atmospheres and good trippy vibes.

Cory Wong (CW) - The Paisley Park Sessions
Hitting his stride with a super tight brass led outing that would surely give Tower of Power a run for their money. The all round musicianship is top notch, using Mr Rogers studio obviously focused their mindset towards replicating his legendary excellence, a masterstroke! - Dojo has tickets to see CW when he comes to MCR in March 2022.


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