Archive is a musical group based in London, England, whose music spans electronic, trip-hop, avant-garde, post-rock and progressive rock. Over their sixteen-year history, the band has released eight ...
studio albums and enjoyed established success throughout Europe, while remaining little-known in their native Britain.
The collective of Archive was originally formed by Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths in 1994 from the ashes of the UK breakbeat act, Genaside II. Together with the female singer Roya Arab and the young rapper Rosko John, the band released their first album "Londinium" on Island Records in 1996, a mix of dark trip hop (in a similar vein to Massive Attack), electronica and, naturally, their breakbeat and hardcore roots, but with the unequivocal match of string arrangements and almost baroque and classically influenced songwriting. The album received moderate critical acclaim, but due to artistic differences, the band split up later that year. In Q magazine, Peter Gabriel was quoted as saying, "Londinium was one of my most favourite albums of the year."
In 1997, Keeler and Griffiths continued Archive with another female singer, (Suzanne Wooder). In 1999, Archive released their second studio album, entitled "Take My Head": a mix of pop and symphonic trip-hop, far more melodic than its predecessor. Due to differences of musical taste with an undisclosed number of producers that Darius and Dan tried to work with on this particular album, the band have described this album as their least favourite of their albums.
In the year 2000 to 2001, Darius and Dan began demo-ing 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." Between 2002 and 2005, the band released three studio albums with Walker to further growing popularity and critical acclaim, including an advancement in an already established following in France and Poland. "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. One of the three composed albums was the soundtrack to the French film Michel Vaillant, released in November 2003.