Reviews that mention Martin Archer

February 17, 2022

Martin Archer & John Jasnoch

Discus 122 CD

Martin Küchen/Anders Lindsjö


Konvoj Records KOR 022


Hakons Ea

Empty Birdcage EBR 006’

Using minimal instrumentation but projecting maximum sonic chromaticism are these three strings-and-reeds Norther European duos. Although each follows an individual path to achieve its varied program, each reaches comprehensive sound elaboration. Outlier of the three is Sågövningar, which is part of ongoing projects with Swedes, acoustic guitarist Anders Lindsjö, who has worked with the likes of Mats Gustafsson and sopranino saxophonist Martin Küchen, who plays with numerous European improvisers. Provenance is a duo improvisation from Sheffield-based multi-reedist Martin Archer and John Jasnoch, an expert on as many stringed instruments, and is part of a relationship that has encompassed many bands since the two first played together in the early 1980s. Youngest of the duos is featured on Hakons Ea, a live set from London based guitarist Daniel Thompson and alto saxophonist Colin Webster, both often found in the company of sound explorers like Dirk Serries. MORE

October 7, 2021

Inclusion Principle

The 4, the 8, the 10
Discus 110 CD

Quentin Rollet/Andrew Sharpley

The New Me

ReQords/Test Recordings REQ 007/tst 11

Overcoming the need to maintain appropriate distance during Covid19 is done with less cleavage by ensembles used to electro-acoustic improvising like these. Both duos encompass mixing synthesized, pre-recorded material and acoustic sounds, yet with dedicated technology neither is unlike what would arise from modern studio programs. The back story for each diverges though.

Inclusion Principle’s fifth collaborative album by Sheffield, UK-based reeds and software experts Martin Archer and Hervé Perez proves what accomplished sound designers the two have become during the duo’s 15 year existence. Adding percussion samples to the mix, the two manipulate and program multiple instrument and voltages for spacious or packed improvised instances. Meanwhile, notwithstanding that British computer expert Andrew Sharpley and Paris-based saxophonist Quentin Rollet have known each other for two decades this is their first joint disc. Both were previously involved with bands like Stock, Hausen & Walkman and Zombie Zombie. The New Me was created by Sharpley in his UK studio by adding electronic oscillations to Rollet’s Paris-recorded saxophone parts. MORE

September 2, 2021

Martin Archer/Charlotte Keefe/Martin Pyne

Hi Res Heart
Discus Music 108 CD

Overcoming pandemic lockdown restrictions with electronics and multi-instrumental acumen, three British improvisers create trio music that’s more than the sum of its parts. Each player recorded his or her part separately and these textures were then melded with the recorded responses of the others. Considering Charlotte Keeffe plays trumpet and flugelhorn; Martin Pyne vibraphone, drums, percussion and toy piano; and Martin Archer sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor and, baritone saxophones, Bb and bass clarinets, bass harmonica, flute and electronics the resulting textures are layered in a variety of paradigms. It’s a tribute to the three, who are involved with multiple UK bands, that they make the idiosyncratic program sound as natural as any conventional trio set – or perhaps a 16-piece band jam session. MORE

July 11, 2020

Martin Archer

Anthropology Band
Discus 90 CD

Webber/Morris Big Band

Both Are True

Greenleaf Music GRE CD 1075

Vladimir Tarasov & Krugly Band Orchestra

Sound Tapestries

SoLyd Records SLR 0440

Fire! Orchestra

Krysztof Penderecki Actions

Rune Grammofon RCD 2212

Gard Nilssen Supersonic Orchestra

If You Listen Carefully the Music Is Yours

ODIN CD 9572

Something in the air Novel Large Ensemble Strategies are expressed by Bands All over the World

November 28, 2013

Martin Archer

Blue Meat, Black Diesel & Engine Room Favourites
Discus 43 CD

Blending and contrasting vamping horns, violent percussion and spiccato strings, this CD mark a welcome return to Jazz by Sheffield-based reedist Martin Archer. Now mostly involved with electronic-oriented sound design and what he calls “creative Rock”, his dormant talents on sopranino, alto and baritone saxophones and bass clarinet are given full reign here, as part of a 12-piece acoustic band.

Besides a brief introduction the session is divided into the 25 minute “Of The Above”, composed by Archer and percussionist Peter Fairclough and the eight-part title track penned by the saxophonist. Although Archer links the performance here to pioneering Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) sessions he does himself a disservice. Few if any AACM compositions are as concerned with the spatial pulsations arising from four percussionists – five if you count Corey Mwamba’s vibraphone – featured on both major tracks. More crucially the tunes’ frequent turn-arounds and transitions are based on chordal dissonance rather than other motifs. In other words reed and/or percussion narratives are usually re-directed by the angled piano pulsations of Laura Cole or jittery counter-melodies arising from Graham Clark’s violin. MORE

December 26, 2005


We Are Falling
Konnex KCD 5150

The Dematerialised Passenger
Discus 20CD

Reduced to cliché elsewhere, the jazz and improv part of jazz-rock fusion still survives in isolated corners of the music business. In the United Kingdom, one spot is London, another Sheffield, while in the United States there’s St. Paul, Minn. [!]

At least it would seem so on the evidence of these CDs. Israeli-born, London-based drummer Asaf Sirkis has put out the second CD by his Inner Noise trio, which he admits is as influenced as much by Weather Report and Allan Holdsworth as Sun Ra. A continuation of the band’s first CD, WE ARE FALLING differs since Steve Lodder is able to play a special midi keyboard with an organ feel and special keyboard set-up with bass pedals, instead of the church organ used on the band’s debut disc. MORE

September 1, 2004


The formulary of curses

By Ken Waxman

September 1, 2004

Five years into the 21st century, British composer/saxophonist Martin Archer must occasionally allow himself the odd smile of satisfaction.

Beginning his career in the early 1980s as a improv saxophonist, by the mid-1990s the Sheffield-based musician immersed himself in creating relationships between electronics, technology and improvisation. Integrating random events and sound material into his recorded work before that idea become generally accepted, early on his partially notated/partially improvised sound collages showed the sort of musical maturity that it would take others years to attain. MORE

April 7, 2003


Film ist. Musik
Loewenhertz 009

MARTIN ARCHER English commonflowers
Discus 15CD

A soundtrack anxious to stand on its own as program music, and mix’n’match program music lacking only visual images to become a soundtrack characterize these two European CDs. More impressively, British keyboardist/saxophonist/electronics composer Martin Archer and Austrian pianist/composer Hannes Loeschel have produced aurally descriptive discs that prove that genre definitions are a thing of the past.

While neither CD would exist without the foundation of jazz and free improvisation, influences from electronics, rock and post-rock, folk melodies, musique concrète, pure noise and both traditional and contemporary classical music slide into the sound as well. Those 1960s psychedelic bands that insisted their amateurish efforts were movies for the ears didn’t realize how accomplished composers like these could redefine that conceit decades later. MORE

July 27, 2000


Winter Pilgrim Arriving

Martin Archer/Simon H. Fell
Pure Water Construction

Some musicians who have already researched the outer limits of jazz and improv music are still looking for new areas to investigate. One bit of uncharted territory -- the intersection of improvisations, the mechanics of chance and electronic gadgetry -- fascinates Martin Archer. And these two quite different discs offer a glimpse into his thought processes.

Initially a free jazz saxophonist and composer, Sheffield, England-based Archer has spent most of the past decade immersing himself in the mechanics of electroacoustic music. Both these CDs involve music played by him and others in real time then twisted, turned, tweaked and mixed with other samples to create a new soundscape. When it succeeds it transports the adventurous listener who often can't identify the source of an individual tone; when it doesn't it becomes merely self-indulgent.