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ARCHAIA

Zeuhl • France


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Archaia biography
ARCHAĻA were formed in the mid-seventies by MAGMA fans who wanted to do something different: play music using percussion only (no drums) and make full use of the guitar. They have alternately been compared to JADE WARRIOR, ARACHNOID, HELDON, MAHAVISHNU, KING CRIMSON (circa "Red"), UNIVERS ZERO and of course, MAGMA. But their material is totally unique, even by today's standards. Their only album, a self-titled LP released in 1976, is now a hot collectors' item that sells for over $300 US. At the time, however, it sold very poorly - most sales being made by the band themselves after their concerts. They went on making tapes for a while and gathered enough material for a second LP. But in the early 80's, vocalist Pierrick Lebras sold the tapes in a flea market and ARCHAĻA then simply decided to disband. As none of the other members had kept any copies, this tape is probably lost forever.

Propelled by a pulsating bass, their self-titled album is fast moving, featuring varied tempos and extremely dark themes. The music is characterized by a vitriolic fuzz guitar, droning keyboards, synths that have an eerie Twilight Zone quality, and by portentous, creepy, spooky pagan vocals. With haunted house screams and creaking doors, the ominous organ delves deep into the abyss of your soul, zeroing in on your third eye with laser-like precision. This is tensely suspenseful material, sinister, unnerving, not to mention disorienting. Perfectly suited to meditating on Hades, tales of the Dark Lord and stories from the underworld.

Amateurs of Zeuhl and the avant-garde will have a field day with this cd. Not for the faint of heart but very well done and totally convincing.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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ARCHAIA discography


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3.99 | 31 ratings
Archaļa
1977

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ARCHAIA Reviews


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 Archaļa by ARCHAIA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 31 ratings

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Archaļa
Archaia Zeuhl

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Archaia play a style of Zeuhl which combines chunky bass lines from Michel Munier (whose skills are on a par with Jannick Top's) with Heldon-influenced synthesiser interventions from Pierrick Lebras and Philippe Bersan. (Pierrick also plays a decent guitar.) Tending slightly towards the creepier, scarier end of Zeuhl, the album shows an impressive mastery of the form which isn't quite on a level where I'd recommend it to people new to the genre - it's not as good as Magma, and since it isn't very accessible I'd recommend listeners become conversant with other Zeuhl groups before trying it - but it's worth a listen for any fan of the form.

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 Archaļa by ARCHAIA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 31 ratings

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Archaļa
Archaia Zeuhl

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The other reviews of this album suggested a scary experience. Hence, I rigged myself up behind the sofa and with my old teddybear as a spiritual cling on during this supposed spine chilling scary black mass.

Well, I should not had bothered. Their music is nowhere near Shub Niggurath's debut album in the scary stake.

Archaia does Magma inspired zeuhl without drums. Bass, guitars and vocals sets the rhythms. Those instruments plus tangents also stakes out the melodies. The music is hypnotic as in hippie mass where hippies dance around a campfire when chanting peace and legalize soft drugs messages. Black mass ? Fetch me a mug of black coffee !!!!

This album contains some very original music. Original as in kraut, space rock and jazz. Add Magma and subtract all traces of drums. Then you get the music on this album. It is a special album and it is a very good album. It does not really contains some killer music though and that is a problem. Hence my three stars. But this album is such an interesting album that I may upgrade the score next year or in the coming decades. This is an album zeuhl fans should check out.

3.5 stars

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 Archaļa by ARCHAIA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 31 ratings

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Archaļa
Archaia Zeuhl

Review by Dobermensch

4 stars Archaia may have been Magma fans, but they certainly weren't Magma clones. At last we have a Zeuhl album without the bombast, where a drumless Magma meets a stringless Universe Zero. All drums have been sacked in favour of an altogether more creepy Zeuhl sound. Sinister, with elements that conjure up visions of Aleister Crowley or a black mass. Archaia have similarities to Heldon and Lard Free. This album is more laid back than those bands though.

There's quite a lot of droning mediaeval chants which makes it sound like it should have been used in that scene from 'Rosemary's Baby' where the baddies are lurking around that big black pram! The guitars are drenched in fuzz, the bass is claustrophobic and throbbing and the vocals are somewhat similar in style to Magma's Klaus Blasquiz. Unfortunately some of the early keyboards are a wee bit on the cheesy side though.

An album to be listened to with the lights off for the full effect. Get it in time for Halloween!

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 Archaļa by ARCHAIA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 31 ratings

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Archaļa
Archaia Zeuhl

Review by FruMp
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A relaxed lysergic stream meandering through an ancietn rockface, Archaia belong to that magical category of bands that having released only one full length to limited acclaim before disbanding, became known and renowned thanks to the advent of the internet. This release doesn't share an awful lot in common with traditional Zeuhl, whilst the bass is the strongest link and some of the melodic themes are recognisable this is without a doubt a psychedelic release. This psychedelic component is very strong yet isn't easily definable as it is largely the sum of it's parts. The production definitely plays a large role though, it is reasonably lo-fi in that there isn't a lot of low end and there is a lot of fuzzed out guitar and in general it is very distant and sparse sounding - delicate would perhaps be an appropriate term (the percussion only approach turns out to be genius in this regard). There is also a palpable malaise which permeates the music, this turned out to be a stoner classic because it's a record that actually relates to the feeling of being stoned unlike any record I've encountered.

I strongly recommend this album, it is one of those weird unique little albums that fills a place in your musical life that nothing else really does, a tranquil other-worldly piece of music.

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 Archaļa by ARCHAIA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 31 ratings

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Archaļa
Archaia Zeuhl

Review by Rocktopus

5 stars The sound of a black mass you'd wish you were at, or glad you weren't. It depends. I would probably have chickened out and ran all the way home to mommy...crying.

Archaļa sounds somewhat ancient and timeless simultanously. Just like the name suggests, but it also feels new, fresh and unlike anything else. Even now, thirty years after its original release. One track is called Le Grand Secret, and that's exactly what this distubing but hauntingly beautiful mastepiece of dark, chthonic zeuhl is to me.

Its like you're suddenly part of a secret, complex ritual you don't understand. (We have all stumpled into that a couple of times, right?) My insignificant intellect translates the advanced sound of Archaiä and creates images of some kind of occult dyonisian bacchanal. Meaning an orgy with lamb and virgin sacrifices and gallons of blood, dangerous drugs all over the place, red wine in grailshaped glasses, add a black goat standing on two feet, hairy people in long capes and of course, lots of nudity. Basically that scene in Eyes Wide Shot, only dirtier and outdoors.

At the time of its release it only sold a couple of hundred copies, and Pierrick Lebras, probably dissillusioned sold the tapes for a follow up album at a flea market!(?). The world is unfair and stupid , but that's not excactly news. 1977, the rise of punk, and fall of prog, but only for those of you fixated on the sympho-megalomaniacs of the UK scene. In France and Belgium they were just getting started.

Thank the good (or evil) people at Soleil Zeuhl for re-releasing this. If I'll ever spend 500 bucks on one LP, it will be this one. Hail Satan!

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 Archaļa by ARCHAIA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 31 ratings

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Archaļa
Archaia Zeuhl

Review by sularetal

3 stars Archaia is a band that is really difficult to be put under one genre. Their only album (self- titled) released in 1977 is a mixture of abstract soundscapes from psychedelic rock, effects, strange keys and vocals that remind you of kraut rock, heavy bass lines that remind you of zeuhl, odd sounds and melodies fro avant-garde bands... It's something really unique really. Don't be confused by the categorization, they're not really like Magma (even though there is an obvious connection).

All songs have this haunting feeling. Dark melodies, strange vocals, distorted "screaming" guitar are what give you this feeling. On the original LP there are no drums. Songs 9, 10 and 11 are extra tracks in the last two of which drums are used. All the other songs are filled with all kind of percussion and that's something that makes the album really interesting. The impression I get from this is a band that is trying things, experimenting really without having a particular idea where they're heading. As a result I can't give it more than 3 stars.

If you find this cd (which I doubt) and you are attracted by the idea having a very rare cd buy it. Buying it only for the music seems a bit strange to me (since it costs more than $300). Anyway, it is a good effort and really interesting to see a mixture of so many different genres.

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 Archaļa by ARCHAIA album cover Studio Album, 1977
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Archaļa
Archaia Zeuhl

Review by Carl floyd fan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After Magma I was ready to leave the Zeuhl genre for dead. Soon after my displeasure with that genre, I gave RIO a second chance and liked it. So I decided to give Zeuhl a second chance as well. I had already tried magma and absolutly could not stand them, they were needlessly complex. Sometimes less is more and Archaia proves this point to a T. Yes they are complex but in a way that won't scare off the average listener or without being prententious like similar artists. These guys remind me of Lard Free with the heavy bass and experimental nature. They are fun and orginal, give them a shot!

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 Archaļa by ARCHAIA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.99 | 31 ratings

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Archaļa
Archaia Zeuhl

Review by redalert

5 stars This album is often given the Zeuhl label, which I believe may be an exaggeration - yes, of course, they were influenced by Magma; and that unmistakable Zeuhl bass sound is very much present, but Archaia seems to be equally influenced by other French bands of the 70s such as Flamen Dialis and Fille Que Mousse. Often sounding like a hybrid of the coolest 70s styles - electronic avant-garde, Krautrock, Zeuhl and the real deal prog, this album, which is extremley rare; is a guaranteed killer. Those with a penchant for French music of the 70s or any of the genres mentioned above will dig this album. The bass is the foundation for all else - ghostly voices, screaming voices, authoritive voices, manipulated voices and electronic mayhem collide on its rolling waves. Guitars soar,bellow, fracture into fragments - peircing shrills stabbing into the heart of the wicked walls of instrumentation. Often, one is lulled in to the falsest sense of security but then, of course, a stabbing synth will riddle all who stand before with its shards of electronic noise, then ghostly voices, once again, will appear. It took me a bit to get into this album (the mark of true class?), once I did, however, it totally charmed me with its otherworldness. That is not to say this album is difficult avant- garde, far from it - just complex (the Zeuhl influence once more?). If its possible - go get this album, it does not dissapoint!

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