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Archive Biography

Last updated: 03/28/2012 12:00:00 PM

Archive were formed by Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths in 1994 from the ashes of UK breakbeat act Genaside II. Together with female singer Roya Arab and young rapper Rosko John, the band released their first album "Londinium" on Island Records in 1996, a mix of dark Trip-Hop (in the same vein as Massive Attack), rap and alternative rock. The album received moderate critical acclaim, but due to internal dispute the band split up later that year.

However, in 1997 Keeler and Griffiths reformed Archive with another female singer (Suzanne Wooder) and in 1999 released their second album "Take My Head", a mix of pop and symphonic trip-hop far more melodic than its predecessor. The band have described this album as their least favourite of their albums.

Between 2002 and 2005 the band released three albums with Craig Walker, formerly of Power of Dreams, as singer, to growing popularity and critical acclaim, including a large following in France and Poland. These albums have seen Archive gradually turn 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. The band also composed the soundtrack to the French film Michel Vaillant, released in November 2003.

Archive announced at short notice that Walker would not be joining the band's tour in November 2004 "due to unforeseen circumstances". Another statement from Darius Keeler hinted at personal problems keeping Walker from touring [1]. In an interview with TV station arte in late 2005 [2], Keeler and Griffiths confirmed that Walker is in fact no longer in Archive but working on a solo album.

In autumn of 2004, Archive announced that Dave Pen (Birdpen) would be replacing Walker on the Noise tour - due to the continuing personal problems between Walker and the rest of the band. During this same tour, Keeler and Griffiths met the singer Pollard Berrier at one of their shows in Vienna, Austria. The three began writing and rehearsing together, and were recording in Southside Studios, London by September 2005.

In May 2006, Archive released "Lights", from which the first single was "System". Dave Pen contributed on three tracks of the album and Maria Q sang on four tracks.

They have been touring in Europe since 2006, with Dave Pen, Pollard Berrier and occasionally Maria Q as singers. As the critical reaction to their "Lights" tour has been excellent, they recorded a live DVD in Paris in January 2007.

Thanks to Shahin Rahimzadeh (STR) for submitting the biography.