A.R.C. Soundtracks – Archive: Volume One

Album Review by Bram E. Gieben | 06 Feb 2014
  • A.R.C. Soundtracks – Archive: Volume One
Album title: Archive: Volume One
Artist: A.R.C. Soundtracks
Label: Little Crackd Rabbit
Release date: 10 Feb

Following in the footsteps of electronic artists like The Haxan Cloak and Raime, and the magisterial post-rock of Godspeed You! Black Emperor as closely as A.R.C. Soundtracks do is risky, given the pre-eminence of these artists – in a sub-genre that is all too easy easy to dismiss or pigeonhole with the adjective 'cinematic', using the word 'soundtracks' in your collective's name seems to invite dismissal. Piano, organ, guitar and organic percussion dominate – A.R.C. Soundtracks' work is undeniably atmospheric, and immaculately played.

One of the three performers, Marc Rahr, passed away last year without hearing the finished project. K. Craig and David Armes went on to complete the album, and its sparse, wintry soundscapes serve as a moving tribute to their friend, evoking the wind-blasted, twilit moors of northern England. Fragments of bleakly sentimental spoken word give a sense of narrative – the resulting journey is as dark and troubling as it is beautiful and elegiac.