It All Comes Down to This A Certain Ratio

Album info



Label: Mute

Genre: Electronic

Subgenre: Electro-Pop

Artist: A Certain Ratio

Album including Album cover


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FLAC 96 $ 11.00
  • 1All Comes Down to This02:32
  • 2Keep it Real02:45
  • 3We All Need05:03
  • 4Surfer Ticket03:20
  • 5Bitten by a Lizard04:22
  • 6God Knows03:50
  • 7Out From Under03:26
  • 8Estate Kings04:16
  • 9Where You Coming From03:34
  • 10Dorothy Says03:24
  • Total Runtime36:32

Info for It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This, for now at least, is the sound of the current incarnation of A Certain Ratio. Indeed, in many senses, it is the purest distillation of their essential sound ever committed to tape. Their thirteenth studio album, it is the first time ever they have recorded strictly as the core trio of principle band members – multi-instrumentalists Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson.

From the moment the rattling, call-to-arms drumroll intro of opener ‘All Comes Down to This’ gives in to a wall of slithering, watery guitar squawks and bounding, rubbery bass notes, it is obvious that A Certain Ratio have once again been able to tap into a new artery of life. The record’s ten tracks present ten distinct moods, from the urgent, muscular, foreboding groove of ‘Keep It Real’ to the open, breezy, melodic synth of ‘God Knows’, every bursting moment of It All Comes Down to This is defiantly, resiliently alive.

The essential difference between It All Comes Down to This and its immediate predecessors is that for this recording process, the band turned to the doyen of contemporary underground rock producers, Dan Carey (Black Midi, Kae Tempest, Black Country New Road).

After meeting at the 2021 Wide Awake Festival in London, they found that Carey was even more eager to realise a full-length collaboration than they were, and the dates were quickly set. Known for his rejection of sonic clutter and his uncompromising focus on the central tenets of the bands and artists he produces, Carey’s instincts closely aligned with ACR’s desire to return to the basics. What the band might not have been ready for, however, was quite the speed that Carey intended to work at.

If there is a residual darkness in the album’s sonic aesthetic, then it pervades the subject matter, too.

As a snapshot of where A Certain Ratio stand in 2024, It All Comes Down to This is a towering testament to their staying power. For a band whose path has intersected with the lives of Joy Division, The Fall, Talking Heads, Madonna and Grace Jones, to now be immersed in their most creative and prolific period since the early 1980s, after 45 years together, puts the great majority of their contemporaries to shame. But then again, when you have always been preoccupied with laying the groundwork for your next steps, you’re unlikely ever to derive much satisfaction from standing still.

"It All Comes Down To This is therefore bitter-sweet: not a victory lap, but another gruelling fight in the ring. “I plan to die at the very last minute”, plots Kerr as he re-sharpens his sword in the last verse on the album. It’s a pithy, and pertinent maxim for a group who have maintained such an incredibly loyal, withstanding commitment to their muse. Here, ACR silently call out those who continue to glorify dead post-punk trailblazers. Well, the year is 2024 and dying just isn’t cool anymore." (Leo Lawton,

A Certain Ratio

A Certain Ratio
Formed in 1978 with a core line-up of Jez Kerr, Martin Moscrop and Donald Johnson, A Certain Ratio emerged from the hallowed grounds of the late 70s punk scene, and from that day on they’ve moved forwards with gleeful disregard for the boundaries of style and genre, their eye fixed firmly on constant progression. It’s an ethos that’s open-minded over all else, and that’s seen the band take everything from experimental electronica to vintage funk, and filter it through their own Mancunian lens.

Shortly after forming in 1978, Joy Division’s manager Rob Gretton – having seen A Certain Ratio on one of their many live shows – put them in touch with Tony Wilson, a well-known local TV personality who was then in the process of setting up a record label. A Certain Ratio were one of the first to record for the fledgling Factory Records, debuting with their 7″ single, ‘All Night Party’/’The Thin Boys’.

On December 10, 2023, A Certain Ratio contorted Manchester’s Band on the Wall venue with their deep funk grooves and scabrous post-punk stabs of guitar, the band standing astride the venue where they started their career 45 years ago. It, like them, is one of the few remaining elements of the Manchester music scene’s heyday that seems stronger now than ever.

ACR were celebrating the 45th anniversary of their time playing live together as a band, but make no mistake, this was no syrupy, nostalgia-ridden greatest hits tour. After all, earlier in the year, A Certain Ratio had released 1982, one of their career-best works. That album captured the blend of wiry funk bass, Afrobeat-flavoured drums and post-disco indie dance arrangements that placed ACR at the vanguard of the no wave, no nonsense underground music community of the early 1980s, and has kept them there ever since. And yet, in the handful of months since 1982 had been released, the band had long since moved on from it.

This album contains no booklet.

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