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 😉

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 à 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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Jon Short

Starting with proto jazz-rockers March the Third and playing cello on a Pulp single, Jon Joined Nick in the 80s for a promising outfit called “Harriet”, with a singer who later wrote for Tina Turner and won awards. 

Sadly it fell through and Jon formed Deep Sky Divers, a feted ambient duo. 

Chosen by Das Rd not only for his consummate playing but also because his surname matched a letter from the band acronym!

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Nick Robinson

His early musical career included Typhoon Saturday, (who spawned chart-toppers “Living in a Box”)  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’s band “Bass Tone Trap” at a local gig). His path led to his current main activity performing and recording solo, looped guitar soundscapes. 

You can check out his discography on his site, along with extensive information, audio, video and a blog covering midi, ableton and live looping amongst other topics. You can find more of his music on his Bandcamp page and his solo CD was released by Discus Music in 2022, attracting rave reviews from Adrian Belew, Steve Hackett and others.

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, later to be augmented by his old musical sparring partner Jon on bass.

Nick is one of England’s only professional origami artists, with over 100 books on the subject to his name.

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.