Archive are an electronic rock band originating from London. They were formed from the ashes of UK breakbeat act Genaside II by Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths in 1994 and began as an electronica project, combining dark, Bristol-style soundscapes (Massive Attack, Portishead) with rap. The band’s debut, Londinium, was released in 1996 with Roya Arab and Rosko John as guest vocalists and received moderate critical acclaim. However, 1999’s sophomore Take My Head (with new guest vocalist Suzanne Wooder) marked a departure from trip-hop and a lean towards a poppier and more melodic sound. Unfortunately, their record company didn’t seem to like Archive’s new musical ventures and decided to drop them.
A few changed in the lineup followed before the band finally hit its stride on album No. 3 You All Look The Same To Me (2002), featuring singer Craig Walker. This time Archive took a decided turn towards more progressive music (with some progressive rock influences, notably Pink Floyd whose indelible influence is audible on tracks such as Finding it so Hard and Again), while still maintaining electronic elements. The band saw growing popularity and critical acclaim, especially in France, Greece, Germany and Poland.
After recording two more artistically – but not too commercially – successful albums, Michel Vaillant (2003) and Noise (2004), Walker left the band and the project continued on as a collective with new vocalists Pollard Berrier and Dave Peny. 2006 saw the release of Lights, followed by Live at Paris Zenith (2007), “the best live album ever made” according to Rolling Stone magazine, and this year’s much anticipated Controlling Crowds, which has already been deemed Archive’s “greatest and most unparalleled” work to date.