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Genre : Electro Pop

From a duo of producers to a variable-geometry collective, this British group has finally settled down around its co-collaborators Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths.

Since they met in 1990 in a Brixton studio together with Kristen Ogden for the Genaside 2 project (where they went on to their first success with the hit Narra Mine that became a classic of underground house), they have experimented with all sorts of arrangements, not restricting themselves to a particular genre.

Various artists were invited to set their voices on their musical pieces such as the singer Roya Arab and rapper Rosko John and together they went on to form Archive whose first album « Londinium », was released in 1996 in the middle of the trip hop vogue and established a reputation that the band built up and took apart, depending on the multiple changes in its line-up and variations in style.

When Archive released Controlling Crowds, its sixth album, last spring, it came out a partial expression, or rather three aspects in an epic musical triptych based on an ethereal scenario derived from the album title.  It is about controlling crowds and the overwhelming desire of human beings to control everything, to consume everything way beyond their needs and mark the stages of a wild journey in a world where man has never achieved such a degree of freedom but also never been so subtly manipulated.

This grand fresco akin to a modern day epic was served by progressive rock with electronic and organic sounds illustrating ecstatic settings as rendered at times by the voice of  Pollard Berrier or rocked by the female singer Maria Q, while Rosko John, who was back again, showed up the most violent of its aspects.

The other singer, Dave Pen (also a guitarist in the band), was at the time facing some major personal problems involving the break up from a long term relationship, and was sorry he had not contributed more to the album. He then proposed continuing the venture to Darius, by completing the barely sketched out fourth part of Controlling Crowds. He who found it so difficult to share his work with the others and lived in a world apart with his own troubles was thus able to release an enormous emotional load creating a force that cemented the group and achieved a state of grace that was quite different from the pessimism of the three previous parts.
Within just a month and with scanty production resources (whereas the previous sessions of Controlling Crowds had required three months), in January 2009 Archive were able to record and mix eleven titles under the supervision of co-producer Jerome Devoise.

Four samples which had been left as demos six months earlier because they did not fit into the story line of part one, were taken up and fully realised in this new parallel world which introduces the notion of love into the concept of control and some more personal aspects of its influence, through the way they directly affect the lives of members of the group.

 Pollard, Maria and Rosko went back to writing and working on other musical pieces brought in by Darius, Pollard and Dan. From the musical foundations laid at Dave’s in Southampton, to the new mockups worked on with Dan in Brighton, everything was brought together and finalised at the studio in London.  

This fourth part offers a very original conclusion to Controlling Crowds which turns out as a happy, bright, hopeful ending, indeed far more cheerful and optimistic than the beginning. The songs speak for themselves, coming from a more classic and melodious style, with additional pop and electro elements, as if the intention was to perform a musical for a new odyssey in space and depict a species part man and part machine.  
Controlling Crowds Part IV is the expression of Archive as a true group as you have never heard it before, but who will be on tour and on stage in full line up as of January 2009. Establishing its set-list is a puzzle, but the first two parts of the previous album will clearly be prominent.

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