One of the original rave heroes, Mark Archer is one half of Altern 8.
Through their blend of Detroit techno, Chicago house, breakbeats, and other 90s dance flavours, as well as through countless impromptu appearances at unofficial raves to perform wearing chemical warfare suits while dancing “like electrified monkeys”, Altern 8 inspired a whole generation of rave and hardcore aesthetics.
Mark Archer started his production career in 1988 when, along with Dean Meredith, he ventured up to the newly opened Blue Chip Studios in his hometown of Stafford. Starting off as a hip hop/sample house group called Rhythm Mode D, they recorded a few tracks for the studio’s own label before branching out with different styles including acid house and techno. Archer was a founding member of Bizarre Inc before starting up a new project under the name Nexus 21 which had a string of releases on renowned labels such as Network and R&S Records (and were famously the first artists to receive a remix by the legendary Carl Craig for their “Still (Life Keeps Moving)” single).
At the same time, Mark began Altern 8 as a side project of Mexus21. Altern 8 crashed the UK charts in 1991 with “Infiltrate 202” and “Activ-8 (come with me)”, the latter reaching number 3. Additional vinyl outings included the “Overload EP” (1990), “Frequency”, and another top ten hit, “Evapor 8”, followed by “Hypnotic St8”, the LP Full On… Mask Hysteria (number 10 in the LP charts). The protagonists long maintained that this was a temporary diversion from their main project, Nexus 21, and confirmed this by releasing a final Altern 8 single, “Everybody”, in June 1993.
Mark has continued to dj in various styles, mainly focusing on the “Oldskool” scene playing classics from the golden era of rave from 1988-1992.