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introDie Kantine, Cologne, Germany
25th November 2016
Archive & Dr(Dr)one

ARCHIVE were coming to Germany in November with their new album ‘The False Foundation’! We from RoD love The band and the new album and you should too. Seriously! The German tour under the motto “Kings Of The False Foundation” was ending with the sold-out show in Cologne. Already before the doors opened, the queue outside was long and when finally the support act started, the room was already packed.


Created in 2008 as a collective improvisation at the crossroads between experimental and free jazz, DR(DR)ONE from Paris, France resurrects the spirit of the mythical Shandar label (Sun Ra, Pandit Pran Nath, Terry Riley). The American desert plains are also found in Dylan Carlson's Earth. As a journey through the ages, ‘Lyrebird’ (released in June 2015) is a masterly play in four acts where the five French musicians explore the unspeakable through instrumental music. At the crossroads between jazz, avant-garde and drone music, ladies and gentlemen, here is the creation of a new genre: the free drone. DR(DR)ONE is Peter Combard (guitar, synth), Guillaume Perret (saxophone), Colin Johnco (sampler, analog effects), Stan Grimbert (drums) and Eat Gas (guitar, synth). 


Music & Performance
A huge table was built up on the small stage, surrounded by all instruments of ARCHIVE, and besides there was a small drum set placed. The space was really, really limited. Maybe that was the reason why I could only spot three people on stage while during other shows, all four were on stage. Maybe they even were in Cologne and I just only could see three since the stage was so full with equipment. Since the photographers, including me, were not allowed to enter the photo pit (too small), nice people in the front row offered me a place besides them. Thanks guys! Very kind of you! The sound of the Frenchmen is very experimental but soon I saw myself whipping with my feet. I guess many people did not know what to expect but I am sure the band found some lovers of their sounds in the audience. Musically, DR(DR)ONE offered a mix of electronic drone (as the name hints) and danceable beats with dreamy pop passages, enriched by guitar sounds every now and then. Really an interesting mixture. Thirty minutes and five songs later, they left the stage to make room for ARCHIVE.

01. Recorder / Reproducer
02. Sad Horse (from upcoming album)
03. Dance W/ You
04. The Letter
05. Oh Boy

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 7
Light: 8
Total: 7.5 / 10



The ARCHIVE project started around Darius Keeler and Danny Griffiths in 1994. Together with the female singer Roya Arab and the young rapper Rosko John, the band released their first album ‘Londinium’ on Island Records in 1996. But ARCHIVE was doomed to break up the same year due to internal problems. The bands reformation, however, came to pass already in 1997 with an altered line-up surrounding Keeler and Griffiths with which they recorded and released the follow-up ‘Take My Head’ in 1999 which in hindsight is described by the band as their least favourite. The next three albums, released in the following years brought them back to a more progressive approach to composing their music after the poppy foray with the second album. That back to the roots attitude brought forth milestones such as ‘Noise’ and a few years later the highly regarded ‘Lights’. ‘Controlling Crowds’, released in 2009 started of a four part conceptual cycle completed within the same year. The album, ‘Restriction’, was released in January 2015, followed not by ‘The False Foundation’, out in October 2016. ARCHIVE is Danny Griffiths (keys, samples, e-guitar, bass), Darius Keeler (synths, piano), Dave Penney (guitar, vocals), Pollard Berrier (vocals, guitar), Maria Q (vocals), Rosko John (vocals), Steve Davis (bass), Steve Harris (guitar), Jonathan Noyce (bass), Smiley (drums) and Holly Martin (vocals). / 


Music & Performance
I have seen ARCHIVE several times already and (different to many other people) I really like the new album. While during other shows of the tour, judging from pictures I have seen, the stage was first covered by a curtain consisting of white thin threads, this curtain in Cologne was hung up behind the band - probably due to the limited space on the stage of Die Kantine. It was quite early on this Saturday night – just eight – when the intro sounded through the hall. The curtain in the back was used as video canvas during the whole show and as you know ARCHIVE, they present very artsy stuff. There was also a huge silver disco ball hanging in the hall which was integrated into the light show as well with very nice effects. The small stage was packed with the equipment and seven people, and later even eight when Holly joined the guys on stage. After the intro, first several songs from the new album were presented including my favourites, ‘The False Foundation’ and ‘Stay Tribal’. While during those songs in other cities the curtain was hiding the band partly, the audience in Cologne had close visual contact to the band from the very beginning. And still the videos an light effects worked well due to the curtain behind the band.


Holly Martin finally entered the stage for the first time for ‘Crushed’ as background singer, wearing a glittering silver shirt which perfectly fitted to the effects of the disco ball. Her voice was crystal clear and convincing. Her first big moment came with ‘Hatchet’ presenting her on lead vocals. Amazing! The following show was a perfect mix of old and new songs. I just missed ‘Fuck‘ , but I guess times are over when this one is played live. ‘Pulse’ was surely one highlight, and ‘Bullets’ another one. With ‘Blue Faces’ from the new album, the main set ended. The applause in the hall was huge and loud. With ‘Bright Lights’, the band returned on stage. Second song of the encore bloc was a yet unknown song, a piano ballad presented by Holly. Wonderful! ‘You Make Me Feel’, known from a certain commercial, and the pulsing ‘Feel it’ followed. And then big surprise! The band left the stage! I could not believe it. In other cities, there was ‘Controlling crowds’ following and sometimes, there was even another encore with a short version of ‘Again’.


But nothing in Cologne. Applause was long and loud. No one really couldn’t believe that the band won’t come back. But I guess, there was party afterwards in the club. That’s why also the very early beginning and the band had a strict curfew. Too sad that the final show of the German tour had a shorter setlist. But the concert was fantastic. ARCHIVE are still one of those bands who put a spell on you with their concerts. Genre borders? There are none for this art collective. Art Rock? Electro? Post Rock? Hip Hop? Anything is in there and more. I already long for my next ARCHIVE show…

01. Intro
02. Driving in Nails
03. Sell Out
04. Stay Tribal
05. The False Foundation
06. Crushed
07. Hatchet
08. Pulse
09. Splinters
10. The Weight of the World
11. Bullets
12. Blue Faces
13. Bright Lights
14. (Unknown) (new song)
15. You Make Me Feel
16. Feel It

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Sound: 7
Light: 8
Total: 9 / 10


All Pictures by Daniela Vorndran ( /

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