Martin Archer
In Stereo Gravity
Discus 33CD
(2008)
Available formats: 2xCD/DL

This record took three years to make, and was a summary of everything I’d learned to do in music up to that point (2008) – and very much set the scene for what I did in the following decade with Julie Tippetts and with The Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere.

“Here’s a record you could proudly file alongside other greats such as Keith Tippett’s Centipede, Soft Machine’s Third, or Carla Bley’s Escalator Over The Hill” – Ed Pinsent, SOUND PROJECTOR

“Archer presents a shrewdly edited deliberation between rock grooves, improv and jazz…..mulched together not as a tepid fusion, but as an incisively argued whole that is confident enough to let the awkward corners just be…..An enigmatic but engaging commentary on modern living.” – Philip Clark, WIRE

“If Nostradamus’ visions were condensed into a collage of sonic textures, In Stereo Gravity would be the result…..an eerie, apocalyptic montage of electronics and spoken fragments…..(its) haunting sound is thought provoking, impact-making and disturbing…..a spirit infested, abandoned, burned-out warehouse. Archer’s ability to create vivid, stark imagery through sound alone is what makes this album stand out…..Fragments of text create scenes of broken conversations lost through time…..Daring, bold, apocalyptic and unique.” – Rachel Clegg, SHEFFIELD TELEGRAPH

This CD continues the music journey I began in 1988 with Wild pathway favourites, and which has produced a release every three or four years subsequently. It follows the format of working with a large group of players who are combined in different ways on each track. Let’s begin with the cover. It’s from an old encyclopaedia I owned as a child, and disregarding totally it’s artless qualities, I was fascinated by this image of a perfect future and would often linger over it. Was this really what it was going to be like in the future? An eternally warm and perfect evening played out in a family home, a world still in touch with nature but secured by technological advances which could only be dreamed of.

Thanks for taking the time to listen to this long record. I’ve tried to put forward a set which is packed with detail, which makes some sense of the diversity of it’s many parts and which you’ll really want to get to know and live with. To cite two of my personal favourite inspirational records by great English masters, if my last CD Heritage & ringtones (2004) was my Liege and Lief, then this is my Physical Graffiti I guess

Martin Archer – woodwind, organ, software instruments etc
with
Julie Tippetts – voice
Chris Cutler – drum loops
Charlie Collins – drums and percussion
Dave Kane – double bass
Terry Todd – bass guitar
Karl D’Silva – guitar
James Archer – guitar
UTT – turntables

33CD - Martin Archer
76dl
76DL
Martin Archer
Ten Studies For Organ
77DL - Martin Archer
77DL
Martin Archer
Kelvin (collect)
80CD - Martin Archer
80CD
Martin Archer
Another Fantastic Individual
57CD - Martin Archer
57CD
Martin Archer
Story Tellers
18CD - Martin Archer
18CD
Martin Archer
Heritage And Ringtones
16CD - ASK
15CD
Martin Archer
English Commonflowers
05CD - Various Artists
04CD
Martin Archer
Ghost Lily Cascade
01lp
WPF1
Martin Archer
Wild Pathway Favourites
43CD - Martin Archer
43CD
Martin Archer
Blue Meat, Black Diesel & Engine Room Favourites
12CD - Martin Archer
12CD
Martin Archer
Winter Pilgrim Arriving
10cd
10CD
Martin Archer
88 Enemies
32CD - Beatrix Ward Fernandez
132DL
Martin Archer
Electronic Music From Illusion Suite

Reviews

Here’s a record you could proudly file alongside other greats such as Keith Tippett’s Centipede, Soft Machine’s Third, or Carla Bley’s Escalator Over The Hill – Ed Pinsent, SOUND PROJECTOR

Archer presents a shrewdly edited deliberation between rock grooves, improv and jazz…..mulched together not as a tepid fusion, but as an incisively argued whole that is confident enough to let the awkward corners just be…..An enigmatic but engaging commentary on modern living – Philip Clark, WIRE

If Nostradamus’ visions were condensed into a collage of soncc textures, In Stereo Gravity would be the result…..an eerie, apocalyptic montage of electronics and spoken fragments…..(its) haunting sound is thought provoking, impact-making and disturbing…..a spirit infested, abandoned, burned-out warehouse. Archer’s ability to create vivd, stark imagery through sound alone is what makes this album stand out…..Fragments of text create scenes of broken conversations lost through time…..Daring, bold, apocalyptic and unique – Rachel Clegg, SHEFFIELD TELEGRAPH

A gem of a CD – JAZZYORKSHIRE

Archer is…..a fearlessly eclectic colagist with a painterly attention to detail. …..It makes for a fascinating and satisfying journey that one follows through the artist’s idiosyncratic world view…..this is a music of grandeur and scale – Duncan Heining, JAZZWISE

Chaired by electro-acoustic musician (plus) Martin Archer, the Sheffield based Discus Records is a resolutely independent concern whose selective catalogue is imbued with a pioneering and free thinking set of values. One of the label’s most recent releases is Martin’s double CD ‘In Stereo Gravity’ which certainly looks from where I’m standing to be some kind of landmark solo statement, as if everything beforehand was in some way a preparation for this. ‘In Stereo Gravity’ uses various permutations drawn from a large, five-decade rich pool of players plus scatterings of reprocessed input from the great lost folk voice of Anne Briggs and mod jazz bandleader Art Blakey. Within the depths of ‘In Stereo Gravity’s sixteen tracks that comprise an album that took three years to complete, we can also find contributions from Chris Cutler (drum loops on the east/west hybrid ‘Picofarad’), Charlie Collins and Terry Todd who you may and should recall from eighties Sheffield-garde bands Clock DVA and The Box. There’s also an all too rare sighting or four from Julie Tippets (nee Driscoll), her rather unusual remit on ‘Severed Me’, ‘A Daredevil in the Forest’ and ‘Spun Suger Barbed Wire’ being to recite fragments of spam email messages, which is surely one of the first positive uses ever to come from the computer blight I’ve ever encountered. ‘Army of Briars’ is inspired by the cowled order of Sunn O))) and instead of the expected metallic drone saga, an intense drum barrage and church organtone make their presence felt (and how!). ‘Nach Schriesheim’ meanwhile is an excellent open road motorik piece where traces of La Dusseldorf and Neu are given a very thorough overhaul, while still with a Germanic theme ‘Stockhausen Ascent’ gives a tip of the cap to “the master”, Karl Heinz. It’s sad though to think that this guitar /electronics based tribute to this avant-garde giant is the only one I’ve encountered. A superbly sequenced chain of events, crammed with invention and mind boggling sound sources. Look for the disarming ‘Radio Station at Metroland’ sleeve art and dive in! – Steve Pescott – TERRASCOPIC RUMBLES

Martin Archer’s double CD “In Stereo Gravity” featuring his trade mark smorgasbord of sounds, is the product of three years recorded labour. Good things come to those who wait, then. As you’d expect from someone steeped in the work of Cage, Stockhausen and free jazz, this is explorative, left field music for those who think putting the words “avant-garde” in that order is just too conventional. Musicians include ex-members of fellow Sheffield band Clock DVA, the peerless Chris Cutler (Henry Cow, Gong) and the wonderful Julie Tippets, who scats and ululates like a woman bereft of senses or else trying to keep up with the backward tapes and discordant time signatures. This is all multi-layered, diverse, hypnotic, stunning. Of course, over two CDs it can be a difficult listen in places but it’s such a fine example of its genre however you define it…  – TERRASCOPE

Martin Archer wurde in den 50er Jahren des letzten Jahrhunderts in Sheffield geboren und lebt offenbar immer noch dort. Als Jugendlicher begann er Saxophon zu spielen (später auch Violine) und seit den mittleren 70er Jahren betätigt er sich in musikalischer Hinsicht vornehmlich in den Bereichen Jazz, Free-Rock, Elektronik und freier Klangimprovisation. Ende der 80er Jahre gründete er das Label Discus, bei dem seither die meisten Alben seiner verschiedenen Projekte erschienen sind. Neben verschiedenen Bandprojekten (Combat Astronomy z.B., oder das Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere) betätigt sich Archer auch solistisch (oder besser: veröffentlicht Alben unter seinem Namen – er rekrutiert nämlich meist allerlei Gastmusiker). Sein erstes Soloalbum war das 1988 erschienene “Wild Pathway Favourites”, das derzeit neueste (aber bestimmt nicht letzte) Solowerk des Briten ist das hier rezensierte “In stereo gravity”. Das Album kommt als platzsparendes, aber sehr hübsch gestaltetes Pappklappteil, in dem zwei gut gefüllte CDs untergebracht sind. Archer selbst bezeichnet die auf “In stereo gravity” zu findende Musik als “a wide range of everything I like” und in der Tat wird hier viel Abwechslung geboten. Recht komplex und avantgardistisch-freiformatig geht es aber immer zu. Seit den 90er Jahren setzt Archer verstärkt elektronische Klänge bzw. Klangbearbeitung in seiner Musik ein. Auch auf “In stereo gravity” gibt es sehr viel verfremdeten Klang, bearbeitet Sprachsamples und elektronische Soundkreationen zu hören, vermengt mit unbearbeitetem Instrumentalklang. Stilistisch klar festlegbar ist das Ergebnis kaum. Eine Art von elektro-akustische, progressive, zu guten Teilen improvisierte Musik ist das, die mal ein deutliches Jazzgepräge aufweist, sich mal eher in freieren Rockgefilden aufhält, mal eher elektronisch-tonmalend aus den Boxen gleitet, mal in modernen Klassikgefilde gerät, immer aber sehr farbig, wenn auch recht kantig und free und meist klar rhythmisch gefügt dahin gleitet. Der Charakter der Musik ändert sich von Stück zu Stück. Elektronisch-krautiger Free-Spacerock, freiformatige Klangexperimente, eher nach moderner Klassik klingende Exkurse (versehen meist mit allerlei abgefahrenen Stimmeinlagen), komplexe Klangcollagen, treibend-druckvoller Elektrorock, fast entspannte Elektronik-Stimmvermengungen, retro-canterburyartiger Avant-Jazzrock, bizarrer Kraut-Elektropop (doch, man höre “Nach Schriesheim”), RIO-artige Improvisationen, sperrige Ambient-Postrock-Gemenge, Free-Brass-Jazziges oder mächtige Klang-Krach-Gebirge dringen hier auf den Hörer ein, der bald gar nicht mehr weiss wie ihm geschieht. Das alles ist übrigens exzellent produziert und vorgetragen und kommt sehr druckvoll und dynamisch aus den Boxen. “In stereo gravity” ist ein beeindruckender, durchweg atemberaubender Trip durch Martin Archers Klangkosmos, den sich Avantprogger, die wirklich progressive Klänge schätzten, keine Aversionen gegen freies Improvisieren und elektronische Grenzgänge zwischen Lärm und kantigem Wohlklang haben, die sollten dieses kurzweilige, aber sicher sehr anspruchsvolle Album nicht verpassen! – Achim Breiling, BABYBLAUE

Martin’s home turf is reimagined as an agrarian Utopia in the drawing on the cover, and the wide open spaces depicted are reflected in the spartan space groove of the music, where avant skronking blends with motorik rhythms and sampling. – ROGER TRENWITH, ASTOUNDED BY SOUND

Translate »

You can buy your CD or DL either direct from Discus Music or from Bandcamp. The prices and the postage charges are the same on both sites, but Bandcamp will charge you VAT on DL only purchases. Whichever site you choose, the DL element is delivered to your Bandcamp collection.

Discus pays a 10% commission to Bandcamp on sales there, but if you buy direct from Discus Music we get to keep 100% – which of course we prefer! But in the end, please buy from whichever site suits you best.