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- PAPAAVER001 / Scarce dark prog reissue on Papaaver **AS RECOMMENDED on the NWW LIST!!**
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- Archaia by Archaia
8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 13 September 2012
This is a one of those rare, private press efforts that kinda slipped under the radar back in 1976 and, due to its genuine oddness and rarity, has found itself coveted by all sorts of cosmo-freakout types of the modern age. Recorded independently by French duo Michel Munier and Pierrick Le Bras, Archaia’s only recording is an impressive psychedelic beast that forges primitive synth tones, medieval chants, occult lyricism and strange psychedelic arrangements into one cohesive, if slightly eerie LP.
Archaia are most certainly a product of their time and the wild, druggy fuzzed-out vibe of the tracks here are a testament to how strong the narcotics were back then. You can hear plenty of influences in the skewed grooves and stripped back arrangements - King Crimson, Heldon, Can, Archanoid, Amon Duul and Magma spring to mind immediately but there’s also the soundtrack contingent to consider and, of course, the lingering influence of Mike Oldfield.
What sets it apart primarily is the lack of a drum kit, with only the occasional sparse rhythmic pattern making an appearance and just smatterings of percussion keeping the whole thing from being too static. There are elements of drone but for the most part this is a skeletal psych-rock record that just happens to have been composed by dudes with enough money to have a few cool analogue keyboards lying about.
If, like many, you dig seriously bugged out mid-70’s prog and psych stuff then this is definitely worth a look and anyone familiar with the release will be pleased to hear that this is from the original tapes as opposed to the mid-90’s CD pressing that featured amended mixes. There’s also a pretty detailed looking insert, useful if you’re lucky enough to be versed in the french language...which I’m not. I’m a linguistics failure :0(
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