Sextet (A Certain Ratio album)

Sextet is the third studio album by the English post-punk band A Certain Ratio, released in January 1982 by Factory Records. It is the first album by the band not to be produced by Martin Hannett, due to the band wishing for a new sound.

Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1982 (January 1982)
StudioRevolution Studios (Cheadle Hulme, Stockport)
ProducerA Certain Ratio
A Certain Ratio chronology
To Each...
I'd Like to See You Again
Singles from Sextet
  1. "Knife Slits Wate"
    Released: 1982

The album spent eleven weeks in the UK Independent Albums Chart, peaking at number 1.[5]

Critical reception Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [6]
Stylus MagazineA−[2]

The album generally received critical acclaim. Writing in Smash Hits on the album's release in January 1982, Dave Rimmer noted that the album featured "dense and gloomy pieces", suitable for "the bleak mid-winter". He gave the album an overall 6 out of 10.[8] The Quietus called it "a visionary musical statement" and "arguably their greatest moment [...] Not since PIL's dominant Metal Box had a band so seamlessly traversed such an unexpectedly broad musical landscape."[9] Stylus Magazine called the album "a masterpiece [...] a mesmerizing blend of ethnic rhythms and ghostly production that really sounds like nothing else."[2] Douglas Wolk of Pitchfork thought that the album "still sounds like no other record: either that era's creepiest, boggiest dance album or its funkiest smear of brittle art-noise."[10] Uncut praised the record for its "taut, abrasive swagger," as well as its blend of funk and world music influences.[7] Exclaim! critic Kevin Hainey described it as "a strong ACR album from start to finish", and wrote that Tilson's vocals "give the band a somewhat airier, more soulful feel, and the added attention to African rhythms only slightly relieves their trademark tension."[11]

Nevertheless, Trouser Press gave an unfavourable review to the album, writing: "There's no real focus to the discoid beats and wailing female vocals (Martha Tilson); ACR don't seem especially motivated by the music they're making."[12] AllMusic critic Keith Farley thought that the record "upped the energy of A Certain Ratio's dour minimalist dance." Farley also stated "the electronics and rhythms are still curiously apart from song structure for the most part, making for an oddly distanced record."[3]

Track listing Edit

All tracks are written by A Certain Ratio.

  1. "Lucinda" – 3:56
  2. "Crystal" – 2:55
  3. "Gum" – 2:59
  4. "Knife Slits Water" – 7:34
  5. "Skipscada" – 2:10
  6. "Day One" – 6:12
  7. "Rub Down" – 3:43
  8. "Rialto" – 3:45
  9. "Below the Canal" – 3:59

Personnel Edit

Album personnel as adapted from album liner notes.[13]

Charts Edit


Charts (1982) Peak
UK Albums Chart[14] 53

References Edit

  1. ^ McFarlane, Dean. "A Certain Ratio - I'd Like to See You Again". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Hutlock, Todd (14 October 2004). "A Certain Ratio – Sextet – Review – Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 12 November 2006. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Farley, Keith. "Sextet – A Certain Ratio | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b Wolk, Douglas (3 November 2014). "A Certain Ratio - Sextet". Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  5. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980–1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4, p. 1
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th Concise ed.). United Kingdom: Omnibus Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-84609-856-7.
  7. ^ a b "A Certain Ratio – Sextet". Uncut. 1 September 2004. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  8. ^ Rimmer, Dave (21 January 1982). "Album reviews". Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  9. ^ Middles, Mick (26 September 2014). "The Quietus | Reviews | A Certain Ratio". The Quietus. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  10. ^ Wolk, Douglas. "A Certain Ratio - Sextet". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  11. ^ Hainey, Kevin (30 September 2004). "A Certain Ratio - Sextet". Exclaim!. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  12. ^ Flashner, Graham; Sheridan, David. " :: A Certain Ratio". Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  13. ^ A Certain Ratio – Sextet album liner notes
  14. ^ "A Certain Ratio album charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 August 2016.

External links Edit