Mark Archer will forever known as one-half of Altern 8, the boilersuited British duo who stormed the rave scene – and Top of the Pops – in the early 90s.
Part of a clutch of British groups who pioneered the adrenaline-fuelled, bass-heavy sound of sprawling outdoor parties, records like Activ 8 and Evapor 8 have become touchstones in UK rave history. But that’s just part of the story – in Archer’s 2016 autobiography The Man Behind the Mask (of course) he writes of being influenced by hip-hop, electro and Detroit techno before donning the face masks and sample-heavy hardcore and securing their place in UK pop culture.
Perhaps it’s testament to the enduring nature of this much-mythologised period in UK music history that Altern 8 continue to resonate for a new generation, with Archer performing regularly to audiences who weren’t even born when the Criminal Justice Act was a tabloid talking point. It’s certainly an honour to have Archer helm a Crack Mix – bringing his unique slant to neck-snapping hardcore and full-throttle rave music. Whistles at the ready.
Mark Archer plays at Field Maneuvers, 31 August to 2 September