Monday, March 01, 2021

Archive: 3 Albums


Archive are a musical group based in London, England, whose music spans electronic, trip hop, avant-garde, post-rock and progressive rock. Over their twenty-five-year history, the band has released twelve studio albums and enjoyed established success throughout Europe.

Archive started out as a duo consisting of Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths, both of them well-known

DJs of the London club scene. Their debut, Londinium, was a cool, nevertheless deep interpretation of Trip Hop. Arguments between the guest vocalists brought the group not too far from a split. With new voices and the influence of the record label, which forced the group to work with a "hit" producer Take My Head was made, an album the band itself later would call "a collection of symphonic torch songs for the new millennium".

Once again, Archive was not far from a complete disbandment, but with Craig Walker a new vocalist was found.

Archive was formed in 1994 as a trip-hop band when Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths formed up with Roya Arab and rapper Rosko John. After releasing a few singles on their own label, they broke up in early 1996 following a dispute. A few months later, the group reformed with new personnel and began recording their debut album. Londinium was released on Island Records in September 1996.

In 2000, Keeler and Griffiths and Dan began to demo new tracks for further studio production. After

establishing a new sound to work with, the boys placed an advert in Mojo magazine, looking for a new lead singer. Craig Walker answered the advert and immediately began working with the band and singing on the tune that Darius wrote, entitled, "Again".
In 2002, with yet another set of helpers, they finally decided to go prog and gave us "You All Look the Same to Me".

From the very first notes of "You All Look the Same to Me", you can tell the boys all hold their PINK

FLOYD collections in high esteem. It incorporates mainly floydian elements with some RADIOHEAD and COLDPLAY, and features some well orchestrated epics that merit its inclusion on this site. However, the fan base is much divided as to its progressive merits: some rave about it while others would much rather have the boys stick to their trip-hop shenanigans. One thing they do agree on is the excellent musicianship displayed throughout.

Between 2002 and 2005, the band released three studio albums with Walker to further growing popularity and critical acclaim. "You All Look The Same To Me" (2002), "Noise" (2004), and "Michel Vaillant" were albums that marked a turning point of the Archive sound that gradually turned away from their roots in electronica and trip hop and towards more of a psychedelic and progressive style.

A new modern era for Archive had begun with Darius, Dan and Pollard all writing and co-writing seven

tracks and Dave Pen co-writing three, on the album, "Lights". Maria Q sang on three (including backing) tracks. From this point on, Archive was no longer a "front-man-band", but a "collective" of individual artists contributing to what is now an established sound. The album "Lights" was released in May 2006 and received high critical acclaim in France, Switzerland, Greece and Poland. Archive enjoyed predominantly sold-out gigs on their "Lights" Tour, as well as high acclaim at festivals around Europe.

On 7 October 2016 Archive released their tenth album The False Foundation. The band released music

videos for "Driving In Nails", "Bright Lights" and "The False Foundation". To celebrate their 25 years of activity, the band releases in May 2019 a massive retrospective collection called "25". Its standard edition features 26 tracks drawn from the band's career, including new and previously unreleased songs - including collaborations with Band of Skulls and Steve Mason. The 4 CD deluxe edition contains 42 tracks.

The band experienced a lot of success during the 90’s, but mostly in the early 00’s (2000-2004); a

period in their history which is also known as the “Walker phase” due to the former frontman Craig Walker, whose the magic voice offered to the group a unique and recognizable sound. During that time, Walker helped a lot the band to establish trip hop as the main kind of music they play until today. It was the time when Archive released some of their most famous songs, such as “Goodbye”, “Fuck You”, “Get out” and of course, the best song they have ever made (personal opinion), “Again”.                                                          

Current lineup

Darius Keeler - keyboards, synthesizer, piano, organ, programming, arrangements, production
Danny Griffiths - keyboards, samples, additional programming, arrangements, production
Pollard Berrier - vocals, guitar
Dave Pen - vocals, guitar, percussions
Maria Q - vocals
Holly Martin - vocals
Jonathan Noyce - bass
Steve "Smiley" Barnard - drums
Mike Bird - Guitar

Former members

Rosko John - songwriting, vocals, MC
Craig Walker - songwriting, vocals, guitar
Steve Harris - guitar, backing vocals
Matheu Martin - drums
Suzanne Wooder - vocals
Roya Arab - songwriting and vocals
Lee Pomeroy - bass
Dale Davis - bass



You All Look the Same to Me is Archive's third studio album. In this album Archive used Craig Walker for vocals and gradually turned away from their roots in electronica and trip hop and towards more psychedelic and progressive style of bands such as Pink Floyd, Mogwai and The Secret Machines. This album is Archive's first album with their new vocalist Craig Walker, formerly of Power of Dreams, a pop/rock band built around him and Keith Walker.

With a sound halfway between classical trip-hop of Bristol school and electronic psychedelic rock (and many shades of alternative pop in between), Archive enjoyed more success in continental Europe, (i.e. in France) than at home.  With this album Archive have written their name in the prog hall of fame! Archive's best album to date starts off with Again - a superb 16+ minutes track that shows that Archive decided to become the first band to mix trip hop with PF-rooted prog rock.

The album is worth picking up for the first track "Again" alone. Those who enjoy the earlier work of

Porcupine Tree will find much to satisfy them here. The song is similar in some ways to Porcupine Tree's "The sky moved sideways", with its hypnotic rhythm and building themes. The rest of the tracks do not achieve the high standards of "Again", but are nonetheless, of a consistently high quality. "Goodbye" is a more commercial ballad with bite, maybe hints of Bowie.


CD 1.

01. Again   16:21
02. Numb    5:48
03. Meon    5:45
04. Goodbye    5:40
05. Now and Then    1:24
06. Seamless    1:45
07. Finding It So Hard    15:35
08. Fool    8:31
09. Hate    3:45
10. Need     2:26

MP3 @ 320 Size: 159 MB
Flac  Size: 383 MB

Limited Edition bonus tracks: CD 2.

01. Absurd    5:00
02. Junkie Shuffle    10:40
03. Sham    5:05
04. Men Like You    3:56

MP3 @ 320 Size: 64 MB
Flac  Size: 145 MB

NOISE  2004

After three albums of dramatic changes in line-up and sound, (Noise is the fourth studio album) Archive settles down somewhat on Noise. Craig Walker is still in place on guitar and vocals, the same logo adorns the cover, the largely one-word titles are present and correct.

The shift this time is much more subtle. Noise is very much the least electronic Archive record to date. Effects, processing and synths are largely used to decorate the songs here, rather than drive them. 'Pulse' is the only notable exception, with its synth and breakbeat backing. It also features Craig Walker attempting a very ill advised falsetto throughout.

The rest of the album finds Archive sounding very much like an arty, electronic-tinged indie-rock group. The guitars are fuzzy, the drums pound, and a string section adorns the slower songs. Frequent appearances of electric piano and organ hint at the band's past in trip-hop and progressive rock, but the sound is much rawer.



01. Noise    6:43
02. Fuck U    5:14
03. Waste    9:57
04. Sleep    6:50
05. Here    1:02
06. Get Out    4:30
07. Conscience    4:17
08. Pulse    4:50
09. Wrong    0:56
10. Love Song    6:20
11. Me And You    7:57

MP3 @ 320 Size: 140 MB
Flac  Size: 342 MB

LIGHTS  2006


After the departure of vocalist Craig Walker, British electronic rock band Archive recruited Pollard Berrier as their new lead vocalist. Archive's latest is quite a contrast compared to its predecessor, 2004's "Noise". 2 years have passed and somehow I think their music has altered during those years. "Noise" had its 'darkness' as a trademark, whereas "Lights" sounds far more uplifting and more coherent as an album. The name of the title kind of expresses the overall atmosphere.

"Lights" is definitely something I would qualify as genre blending. This is the point from which Archive present us their future sound: a mix of their triphop background and an upbeat rock sound, or

as I tend to refer to their music myself: triprock. The incorporation of a more straightforward rock sound might disappoint prog music listeners. Whereas Archive had their Floydian moments in the past, here they definitely do not focus on copying other bands, but instead they copy themselves. Several songs sound a lot like some of the previous output of the band, most noticeable alike the songs on their 1999 album "Take my Head".



01. Sane  (Backing Vocals – Maria Q
Vocals – Pollard Berrier
Written-By – Griffiths*, Keeler*, Berrier*)  4:26
02. Sit Back Down  (Vocals – Pollard Berrier
Written-By – Griffiths*, Keeler*, Berrier*)  6:36
03. Veins  (Vocals – Dave Penney*, Maria Q
Written-By – Keeler*, Penney*)  4:01
04. System  (Vocals – Pollard Berrier
Written-By – Griffiths*, Keeler*, Berrier*)  4:01
05. Fold  (Vocals – Pollard Berrier
Written-By – Keeler*)  4:38
06. Lights  (Vocals – Pollard Berrier
Written-By – Griffiths*, Keeler*, Berrier*)  18:28
07. I Will Fade  (Vocals – Maria Q
Written-By – Griffiths*)  3:09
08.  Headlights  (Backing Vocals – Maria Q
Vocals – Pollard Berrier
Written-By – Griffiths*, Keeler*)  3:32
09. Programmed  (Vocals – Dave Penney*
Written-By – Griffiths*, Keeler*, Penney*, Hurcombe*)  5:44
10. Black  (Vocals – Dave Penney*
Written-By – Keeler*, Penney*)  2:50
11. Taste Of Blood  (Vocals – Pollard Berrier
Written-By – Keeler*, Berrier)  4:33

Line-up / Musicians

Pollard Berrier / vocals
Danny Griffiths / guitar, bass
Darius Keeler / keyboards

Additional Musicians:

Dave Penney / guitar, vocals
Maria Q / vocals
Steve Harris / guitar
Pete Barraclough / guitar
Dom Brown / guitar
Mike Hurcombe / guitar
Smiley / drums
Matt Martin / drums
Lee Pomeroy / bass, Mellotron
Steve Watts / Hammond
Adrian Northover / alto sax
Phil Walton / tenor sax, baritone sax
Caroline Hall / trombone
Glen Gordon / trumpet
Jane Hanna / horn

MP3 @ 320 Size: 148 MB
Flac  Size: 369 MB


  1. Oh wow !....A new band for me ..many thanks for the heads up on this, as always it's very much appreciated all the time and hard work that goes into your wonderful music blog....stay safe my friend....Stu

    1. @.Stu Archive is a great band my friend. Cheers