Since his move in the early 1990s from free jazz saxophonist to studio based electronics composer, Archer has produced a series of highly acclaimed CDs which combine electronics-based structures with written and improvised parts for brass, woodwind, strings and voices. Elements from jazz, free improvisation, contemporary classical music, electronica, and cutting edge rock music are all present within his work.
Archer’s concerts, in which he plays woodwind plus electronics, feature a mix of improvised and composed elements, and will typically use raw material from various studio recordings recombined and reprocessed in real time using laptop technology.
As a performer, Archer seeks to avoid the inert and inexpressive performance style inherent in much live electronic music.
Archer acknowledges groups such as Faust, Henry Cow, Soft Machine and Magma as being highly influential in his work alongside Cage, Stockhausen, Feldman, and of course the school of European free improvisation. This combination of sources makes him a unique inhabitant of the school of English maverick composers.