30 May 2017
Alan Goes To Moscow 
Here's a transcript of a full and frank letter from Alan Erasmus to his contact "Yuri" ahead of his trip to the USSR which was famously commemorated by the FAC 126 poster 'Alan Goes To Moscow'. It it is quite unusual in that its stated aim is to "... explain more fully Factory's philosophy, and methods to present our art and ideas into a morally corrupt market place."

"Sunday 9th September 1984

Greetings Yuri

My apologies for the slight delay, but here is the letter you asked me to send you, outlining (briefly) the areas for discussion on my visit to Moscow (23rd to 26th October).

1. To discuss the feasibility of the importing, and/or license, of Soviet cultural achievements in the areas of:-

a) Contemporary Music
b) Film
c) Classical Music
d) Video Recording

2/ To hold talks with regard to, (though not necessarily on a reciprocal basis) the licensing, and/or import, of Factory (F.C.L) productions to the U.S.S.R. in the areas of:

a) Contemporary Music
b) Film
c) Video Recording

During these discussions I will explain more fully Factory's philosophy, and methods to present our art and ideas into a morally corrupt market place. In the west we are treated with a grudging respect, (the Americans admire our honesty and commitment, but find it difficult to relate to, or deal with, what they call "A Marxist Communications Company") but they cannot understand how we continue to remain successful, (2 to 3 million pounds per annum, rising, and yet, do not advertise (no hard sell, or promotion), divide equally the profits (Factory's share is used to finance the making of more films and music, or to fund socialistically aware projects, and has no written agreement, or contracts with the workers it represents (for years we have trusted the people we work for and they have trusted us).

I sincerely hope it is possible to arrange the appropriate meetings during my visit to your country, and look forward with enthusiasm, to my stay in Moscow, and your reply.

Contra Mundi

Alan Erasmus"

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Peter Saville colour wheel
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)

The Durutti Column