16 Jan 2005
Praxis Makes Perfect 
A youthful Anthony H Wilson explained to New Order's Gillian Gilbert why he set up Factory Records in Channel 4's New Order Play at Home documentary first broadcast in 1984:

Gillian: "Can you tell me briefly about Factory Records, yeah, what's it all about?"

AHW: "What's it all about, the truth. I could give you 18 different truths or loads of different stories, but they all come down to Praxis. Do you know what Praxis is?"

Gillian: "Praxis? No."

AHW: "Have you ever heard 'Praxis makes perfect'? Praxis is the idea that you do something cos you want to do it. And after you've done it you find out all the reasons why you did it. I mean I could give you a hundred great reasons, political, ideological, aesthetic. I liked the friends I met working as a journalist in punk in '76 and '77 and didn't wanna lose them. I'm trained as an academic. I wanted to do experiments, laboratory experiments in popular art. Experiments on people like you, you see. Hmmm, you're experimenting with me in the bath. Er, I wanted to make political experiments, as to how you could function politically in the market place. But all those things, which I might say were the reasons, I've only found out they were the reasons for doing it by doing it. You just do it. I mean everything we did. Everything you've done. Everything we've all done. It's just cos you wanted to do it. I can think of great reasons afterwards but it would be dishonest."

Gillian: [laughs]

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A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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