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on 9 February 2000
The title says it all in many ways, although this is not a defiant rise against the mighty trip-hop titans of Bristol (Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky) but a heartfelt echo from the capital to accompany their dazzling debut albums. 'Londinium' almost meets the calibre of 'Blue Lines' and 'Dummy' in creating a soundtrack for the post-modern, pre-millennial blues of urban life, although perhaps not diversifying as much as lifestyles do within a city environment with so many people. This tiny flaw makes it no less enjoyable for those who appreciate this genre. With the excellent lyrics split by the dynamic prose of Rosco John to counter Roya Arab's sweet dulcit tones this is one powerful delivery, but one that retains a graceful subtlety and slow-burn feel from beginning to end. Haunting, melancholic and soulful throughout, the funky hip-hop beats of 'All Time' and 'So Few Words' give way to the stark ambience of 'Nothing Else' and 'Beautiful Love' with the somewhat epic title track perhaps offering the standout amidst the simmering cauldron of melted beats and laid back jazzy grooves.
In short, this album has undeservedly gone somewhat un-noticed, coming as it did just as the original enthusiasm for the trip-hop sound ebbed, and now that the band have taken a different form and direction it may remain a forgotten treasure. But it has a remarkable quality that justifies it's position as perhaps a naive but confident rival to those classic 'sounds of Bristol' already in your collection and is well worth investigating if you can.
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on 15 November 2009
'Archive'; A little known group of musicians to the UK market, but much more popular on the european continent.
'Londinium' their first opus, is a rich trip into different styles of music, which really deserves to reach the ears of a greater public. But be warned! If you latch on to this album, you'll only want to hear more. Their latest offering 'Controlling Crowds' only proves that 12 years on their creativity hasn't disminished.
So do yourself a favour. Open your ears and listen. Atb
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on 12 October 2016
One of the very first Archive album and already a fascinating masterpiece.
With the beautiful voice of Roya Arab and the flow of Rosko John. Poetic and committed lyriics.
I always love the Archive's touch : the mix between classical instruments and their amazing technological and hypnotic work on sounds.
Great ! Definitely my favourite band.
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on 19 April 2000
What can i say, i bought this CD on the day of release after hearing the excellent debut single, and still to this day it sits in my CD tray when i want to sit back and chill.
Some people class it as Trip-Hop but i think this does it an in-justice. It is a combination of styles that just combine and flow to create a lush sounding record.
if you want some perfect chill-out/come-down tunes then this is for you.
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on 30 November 2013
Felt the need to write a few comments about Achive's debut album. Masterclass, never tire of listening and hugely under-rated. Roya Arab vocals are simply exquisit.It is a real shame that some members of the band parted company.Their second album in my opinion was awful........although their 2013 release is a huge improvement.
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on 31 January 2012
Like Massive Attack,Alpha,Portishead etc. A lot of scope on this,which does include rapper which some like and some don't.Does not affect the quality of this if you do or don't. Some tracks are instrumental and some just female lead.It is an underappreciated soundtrack like thematic music that soars.
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on 18 January 2009
this album moves seemlessly through musical genre. suprising you at times with flickers of portishead's crackle-voiced charm and at others with controlled and welcomed hip-hop sounds. london is blessed.
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on 11 January 2001
supllements morscheeba, portishead, K&D, the hedkandi serve chilled compliations, moby, faithless and massive attack lovers. some excellent tracks, with some rap on only one or two if you don't mind that
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on 4 November 2004
haunting beautiful melodic poetic instrumental hip hop. This is my most played album ever, have had it in the stereo every week since 1996. The lyrics are special my favourite "like a kaftan of leaves I float..." Gorgeous. They're big in France and justifiably so. Up there with Blue Lines.
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