A Look Back at Archie Hamilton’s Debut Album, Archive Fiction

Aug 18, 2022

Sierra Vandervort

2 min read

Modern music writers love to misuse the term “long-awaited.” In our current age of streaming and insatiable single consumption, it’s not often that a piece of music truly is so anticipated. I’ll argue that Archie Hamilton’s debut album Archive Fiction, on the other hand, was not only long-awaited but very much worth the long wait.

By the time he released Archive Fiction in 2019, Hamilton had already cut his teeth in the industry for nearly 15 years. He’d also been running three separate record labels, each dedicated to a subset of killer house music. During his performances at the most prestigious underground clubs in Ibiza and beyond, he was dubbed an original voice in the “new European sound.” When he finally released his debut album, he channeled a decade of mounting skills and a lifelong dedication to electronic music.

Hamilton was already making a name for himself with his minimal approach to deep house. Archive Fiction marked a cumulative milestone, an homage to his musical upbringing and his newfound influences. From lo-fi house and trip-hop to ’90s tech as well as drum and bass, this is the London producer’s legacy.

Supposedly, the ten tracks on Archive Fiction depict a life-changing night on the dance floor — of which Hamilton has had many. The atmospheric, psychedelic opening tracks “Six Years Later” and “Lifted” are the low-key, slightly hesitant moments when you first arrive. A quick change of pace comes with “Relax Your Body,” a rugged, jungle-tinged banger. This eventually leads you to a pivotal moment with “Make the Difference,” which features legendary New York producer Mr. V. Towards the end of the album, the aptly titled “A Little Lower” uses downtempo trip-hop to coax you back to Earth before the victory lap of “Quicksand” and “Waisted.”

As the only original full-length album in his discography, Archive Fiction is a treasure for any Archie Hamilton fan. It’s an album that shows his full breadth as a musician and his ability to transcend music from the dance floor and into your life.

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