20 JAZZ FUNK GREATS
"Archers by the Sea’s Self-titled album, which was released by LA Station Radar last week (go get) describes a Herzogian rescue mission after explorers stranded in the vast taiga that stretches between an ocean of ambient ice and mountains of folk tranquillity, we follow their faint track in silence, past abandoned utensils and futile maps, through a featureless dronescape signposted by corpses scattered like rodinesque statues in the opulent halls of an alien palace. As the album bites its tail in contemplative beauty, we reach the last survivor, kneeling in frozen worship at the feet of a crystal altar, whence raises a flower of impossible paleness."
December, 13, 2010, by 20 Jazz funk greats
"French artist Vincent Caylet has been active in the experimental underground scene for some time now. Beginning his solo career (to the best of my knowledge) under the name of “V” (and yes, that includes the quote marks) in-between playing with duo Monks of Balhill. After a brief name change to The Pistil Cosmos, the majority of Vincents solo out put has now been under the pseudo Archers by the Sea. Vincent’s work has always been grounded primarily in the experimental field of sounds, but has always incorporated a large amount of psychedelic, drone and noise. As a follower of his work for some years now, I can safely say that Vincent has continued to better his art with each release. “They were floating over the mountain, they were kings” is the first full length proper to be released on vinyl and comes as a limited edition courtesy of French label La Station Radar. Over the course of its 5 track, 45 minute duration, “They were floating…” conjures up a wrath of images and emotions, flirting with glacial drone, bliss-noise and occasionally Grouper style hazey slow motion folk. Opener “They Cut Rocks With A Knife In Their Hand” features slow swells of synths and melodicas amidst a shimmering array of soft ambience and percussive sound effects, building to a near tropical or new age peak where I can almost hear seagulls within the sounds. “We Used To See Humans” is a far out psyche folk raga full of rawness and hidden depths. As the clattering jangles of the acoustic guitar intro fade away like a strange tribal ritual passing by, we reach one of the albums finest moments; the chaotic intro is countered with delicate guitar plucking and hushed vocal drones that lead to a beautiful glistening glassy toned ending. “Experience”; the longest track of the album, taking up nearly a third of the overall playing time, is a transcendental piece of euphoric drone that features bursts of static among layers of vocal and guitar waves. The album is closed with a fantastic distorted lullaby that ends with a burst of white out noise that is pure cosmic bliss. I believe this is some of Vincent’s most focused and well executed work yet and is as much a worthy addition for fans of his work already as it is a perfect introduction for anyone unfamiliar with it. There are a lot of emerging artists using a foundation of experimentalism and psyche folk as the basis for their drone-noise work, but not many manage to fill it with such character and charm as Vincent, and it’s for that reason that Archers by the Sea continues to stand out for me, as an outlet purveying something raw and meaningful more than anything else.
December 15, 2010 - by Daniel J. Gregory.
The Archers by the Sea LP They Were Floating Over the Mountain, They Were Kings came out back in December on La Station Radar, but as all things Nicely Packaged, there's really no rush if you've got the thing locked up on vinyl. Enjoy this delicately wrought six-minute meditation on feedback, texture, and the haunting simplicity of making careful noise with a well-mic'd acoustic guitar.
February 15, 2011, BY JEREMY KRINSLEY
I’ve heard a couple other releases from Archers. They were good. But when I put on “They Were Floating,” it immediately made an impression on me. I mean, this is probably some of Vincent Caylet’s most memorable work. It probably struck me right away so much because the first track is the most impactful out of the five herein. It’s called “They Cut Rocks with a Knife in their Hand.” It’s got a droning loop that sounds like the ebb and flow of a harmonica. It’s also got a nice bird-like fluting or piping, which I guess could be an actual field recording if it didn’t sound slightly artificial to me. The vocals are an ecstatic meditation that hauntingly soars with the drone. The rest of the tracks are almost as good. The second, “Little Thrones and Rotten Ropes,” sounds like an ancient hallowed Mayan temple left in ruins. It’s got a great rustic feel but with a reverent ambiance devoted to Quetzalcoatl or something. Very cool. Then, there’s “We Used to See Humans,” which starts off with some lazy day strumming romances. This gets peeled back into a slowburner with deep and long trails of manipulated wails, which sound a little like whale sonar. The other side finishes off the last two tracks. “Experience” lives up to its name with its shimmery loop and second layer of lower textures. It is truly a moving and uplifting moment on the record. At one point a very sharp ringing steps in but dissolves into a nice oscillation that adds even more to the layers. Then, everything ends with “The Wooden Cabin Needs a Key.” This is a divinely contemplative intercourse with nature. This is like a pantheistic hike through the woodlands with pieces of god hiding under rocks, in hollowed out trees, and in trickling creeks. There aren’t any field recordings, but it is so organic-feeling and reflective. Perhaps I say it this way because I only get a sense of this aura’d flavor when I look out from a high mountain or scan over an endless sea from the shore. That’s a very nice place to be left at the end of an album.
Man, what a great record. I liked Archers by the Sea before, but I love this artist now. Hearing is believing. This one’s way worth it. Nice psychedelically inked art from Fleur that finds its way onto the center record labels too. Comes straight from the luscious French record label, La Station Radar. Only 300.
May 27, 2011, By Dave Miller.
"...Entre autres récentes sorties de ces dernières semaines (notamment le CD-R « Hagar Qim » paru chez les Français de Full Of Nothing), je vous signale et vous recommande chaudement « They Were Floating Over The Mountain, They Were Kings », un très beau LP paru chez La Station Radar (label dont je vous avais déjà parlé au moment de chroniquer le récent album de Jeans Wilder) mi-décembre. Je vous recommande d’ailleurs le très étrange et dérangeant ‘Little Thrones And Rotten Ropes’ tiré du LP pré-cité. Pour le moment, je vous attends tout en bas, quelque part dans un des milliers de couloirs sonores révélés par Archers By The Sea...."
february 2011, by Digital Mojo.
JOSEPH GHOSN BLOG
"J’aime beaucoup They Were Floating Over The Mountains, They Were Kings, le disque d’Archers By The Sea que vient de sortir la Station Radar en vinyle. J’avais eu la chance de l’écouter il y a quelques mois déjà lorsque le label m’en avait envoyé une version en CDR. Depuis, le disque est resté dans ma tête, faisant son bout de chemin presque seul, planant et virevoltant d’oreille en mémoire. J’ai envoyé quelques questions à Archers By The Sea, jeune homme déjà auteur d’une oeuvre prolifique, sortie sous plusieurs pseudonymes et multitude labels ou formats."
INTERVIEW avec Vincent Caylet.