German review -12/15!

Babyblaue have given us a high rating on this review.

Here’s the raw translation from google to give you the gist ūüėČ

Das Rad is called a relatively new project by the bustling Martin Archer, which one on these pages already because of his solo works, but also as a creator of the formations Engine Room Favorites, Story Teller, Inclusion Principle, Transient v Resident, Juxtavoices and especially the Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere knows. A few years ago, this formed a trio with the guitarist Nick Robinson and Steve Dinsdale (radio massacre international and Archers bandmate at the Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere), with the goal of progressive instrumental rock music to create (quote: ‘driving motorik music’), the same time should include free improvised and more complex composed. After sporadically performing live for a while, the trio released their debut album on Archers Discus in November 2018.

A colorful and multi-faceted instrumental program can be found on The Wheel, with occasional krautrockigen, Canterbury-like and crimsonesk-frippery reminiscences. A quite extensive instrumentation starts here probably the band started as guitar-sax-drums-trio. Electronically amplified and acoustic guitars, all sorts of wind instruments, drums and percussion, and various electronic sounds, keyboard sounds and effects equipment mainly produce the music. The result is a mix of punchy modern Prog driven by Dinsdale’s drumming, freer electronic tinkering, jazz-rocking, extensive retro-ingredients and a little experimental-avant-garde (avant-prog).

A little Krautrock √† la New! and Harmonia, or related motor-repetitive rhythm patterns, a dash of Canterbury, especially minimalist e-piano patterns in the spirit of soft machine (you can hear “Canterbury Steps”) or corresponding sax or flute lines, a few mellotronartige patterns, a good shot more recent King Crimson, embroidery and Frippsche soundscapes – the retro-ingredients – are mixed here with jazzy sax lines, sonorous flute pads (also recorder), all kinds of echoing and resounding guitar excesses, dense electronic braids, chamber-progressive reed horns, sonorous key carpets and innumerable tonal, shimmering, honking, hissing, fiependen, growling, whispering and whining instrumental ornaments. Sometimes very rhythmic, sometimes shapeless-floating, this music glides along, sonorous and voluminous, sometimes very powerful and dynamic, but often also playfully meandering or hypnotic-cosmic wafting (listen to the concluding “London Steps”).

“Das Rad” offers a very colorful, retro-modern Proggemenge with a lot of reverb and atmosphere, which Proggerinnen and Proggern, the edgy instrumental Progs appreciate with strong electronic components and jazzy impurities, should appeal very much.


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Nick Robinson

One of England‚Äôs only professional¬†origami artists, with over 100 books on the subject to his name. His early musical career included Typhoon Saturday, (who spawned chart-toppers ‚ÄúLiving in a Box‚ÄĚ)¬† who had a deal with Polydor and released 3 singles to minimal success.

Another band was Dig Vis Drill. Those that saw them in the early 80’s felt this band were destined for greatness. They had a unique and awesome sound, a live act second to none, they were confrontational, challenging, intelligent and fronted by motor-mouth Ogy McGrath, a cross between Woody Allen and Attila the Hun.

From the mid 80s, Robinson began to explore improvised music (supporting Archer‚Äôs band ‚ÄúBass Tone Trap‚ÄĚ at a local gig). His path led to his current main activity performing and recording solo, looped guitar soundscapes. Prog legends Haze gave him lots of support gigs & subseqently invitied him to contribute a solo(!)¬† track for one of their¬†albums.¬†

He produced and played on 4 albums by the loose improv collective Meson. He contributed guitar to an¬†album¬†by Canadian maestro Chris Meloche. He has contributed several tracks to¬†Chain Tape Collective¬†projects. He provided guitar & loops for an album with another Archer project called¬†Combat Astronomy. He¬† also performs with¬†Herve Perez¬†working under the banner of ‚ÄúString Theology‚ÄĚ.¬† He had a CD released by the ‚ÄúLost Garden‚ÄĚ duo with former Comsat Angel Andy Peake. Other local collaborators include John Jasnoch, Howlaround & Charlie Collins.

His website has extensive information, audio, video, a discography and a blog covering midi, ableton and live looping amongst other topics. You can find more of his music on his Bandcamp page

Robinson and Archer had played a variety of gigs together in different formations so when Martin suggested bringing drummer Steve Dinsdale into the mix, Das Rad was born.

Steve Dinsdale

Drummer/Keyboardist cut his teeth on the Teesside and Sheffield music scenes  before moving to London in the late 80’s. Drummed with Honey Smugglers who recorded indie-classic single `Listen’ in 1990, and who are still asked regularly to appear on period compilations.

Joined T.V. Eye alongside ex-members of Eat and future celebrity-botherer and `Game Of Thrones’ star Paul Kaye. Gave up dreams of stardom after returning from holiday to find that said singer had gone off to live on a Kibbutz, and the guitarist was suddenly number one in the charts with a record he’d arranged for an unknown female singer with an eye patch.

Formed electronic improvising trio Radio Massacre International playing keyboards, electronics and drums with oldest friends and collaborators Duncan Goddard and Gary Houghton, who over a 25-year career have played dozens of concerts in the UK, Europe and USA as well as appearing on an MTV Europe co-host. The discography currently stands at some 60 or more releases including a trio of albums for acclaimed US label Cuneiform, and five solo albums made over the last ten years.

Performed as Drummer and/or Floor Percussionist with the Damo Suzuki Network on some half dozen occasions, one of which has led to a number of collaborations with Martin Archer including Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere which was founded in 2009 and has since made four albums, and Engine Room Favourites the 10-piece Jazz ensemble.

And now…Das Rad.