Never Ending Playlist – #35

So Few Words – Archive (1996, Island Records)

‘So Few Words’ was the second single to be released by the London based trip hop and electronica act Archive.  I know very little about Archive, and this is only the song of theirs that I physically own.   It is all sorts of brilliant as well, six minutes of fat old beats, gorgeous vocals and a sneeringly excellent rap.

 Wikipedia tells me that they are still going after 25 years and have adapted their music more recently to adopt a more progressive rock and avant garde slant.   They have now released 12 albums.  I haven’t heard any of the last 11, largely because the Wikipedia told me that the music might contain progressive, avant garde rock.

Back when ‘So Few Words’ was released, Archive were essentially a four piece, containing Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths who did most of the music.  They recruited the Iranian singer Roya Arab as vocalist, and its her vocals you can hear wonderfully drifting through ‘So Few Words’.  What makes ‘So Few Words’ so brilliant is the rap by a chap called Rosko John, who I can find very little about on the Internet or indeed anywhere else, which is a shame because his rapping is marvellous.

‘So Few Words’ featured on the bands debut album, ‘Londinium’, the band split up before it was recorded, then they reformed, made the album and then split up almost straight after it was released.  Keeler and Griffiths then reformed the band in 1997, with a more melodic approach – and a different female vocalist.

‘Londinium’ was excellent and it contained some pretty cools samples as well like here, which samples Underworld, which is kind of like the gamekeepers turning poacher.

Skyscraper – Archive (1996, Island Records)

Mmm Skyscraper…..I Love You – Underworld (1993, Junior Boys Own Records)

1 Comment

  1. Khayem says:

    I can’t remember how it happened, but I discovered several of Archive’s post-Londinium albums last year. Thankfully, I missed the Wiki reference to “progressive, avant garde rock” otherwise I too might have kept going on.

    I have 3 albums from 2002-2006, and the first two unexpectedly (well, for me at least) featured Craig Walker, ex-Power Of Dreams. Each album features 1 or 2 songs that push the 10-minute mark (18+ in one case), so that may explain the prog label. The albums are generally good, not outstanding. They’ve got another album out at the end of April, so still very much a going concern. Londinium is still the one that does it for me, though.


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