Reviews that mention Martin Archer

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

ASAF SIRKIS & THE INNER NOISE

We Are Falling
Konnex KCD 5150

COMBAT ASTRONOMY
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

ASK

The formulary of curses
Discus

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

GUSTAV DEUTSCH /HANNES LOESCHEL & VELVET LOUNGE

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

MARTIN ARCHER

Winter Pilgrim Arriving
DISCUS 12CD

Martin Archer/Simon H. Fell
Pure Water Construction
DISCUS 11CD

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.

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