Overlooked Gems of My Lifetime

Credit is given where credit is due regarding the overlooked gems of my lifetime.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Certain Ratio, Sextet

Sextet by A Certain Ratio is an album I discovered in college, when being depressed and confused was a way of life. I don't know how much I can tell you about the band that you may not already know: they were on Factory Records, this album is produced by Martin Hannett (best known for his work with Joy Division), they're named after an Eno song, etc. I think they appear in that 24 Hour Party People movie, but I can't be sure, not having seen the film.

This is not the type of music I typically liked even way back when, but I bought this album based on the Joy Division/Martin Hannett connection. Along with imagined Cool Points, I would learn that side benefits of owning the vinyl release of this album include the cool textured album cover and the really nice plastic sleeve into which the album slides. It may be the finest-quality plastic sleeve of any record in my collection. Sadly, I cannot include the textured album cover and thick plastic sleeve in this entry. Trust me.

If you've never heard this album, I would describe the music as Joy Division gone funk with heavy elements of '70s Satan movie vibes. Think the meeting point between Hannett's production work on Joy Division's Closer and his work on that great first ESG ep...set in a knock-off of Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. I especially like the staggered, slightly off-key horn parts that appear in songs. That sound represents my personal version of the Charlie Brown teacher "wah-wah-wah" sound. although in my case it was the hopeless sound of my parents fighting.


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