Release: Far And Wide
Label: De Stijl
Release date: 18th February 2019
Robin Koek and Nick Lapien have become highly respected for their melancholic music since coming together in 2012, releasing on labels like Konstrukt, Deep Sound Channel, Field Records, as well as numerous appearances on Delsin, which played host to their lauded seminal album ‘Kinship’. ‘De Stijl‘ is the brainchild of Artefakt and delivers a fertile ground for further exploration of their sound, as well as providing a home to affiliated projects and close friends. Far And Wide is the debut release on their label, which sets the bar very high for the standard of releases to follow.
Far And Wide opens it with its title track; an atmospheric, thumping effort that incorporates acid into Artefakt’s usual repertoire of melancholic swelling chords and bouncy rhythmic structure. The acid melodies take the spotlight here, taking the track to a more club driven direction than Artefakt may have previously been known to do. Far And Wide is an airy, spacey track which serves the purpose of opening the EP very well.
Ghost In The Machine takes direction from the previous track and moves the record into a darker, even more dancefloor driven direction. Acid is the key player in Ghost In The Machine as well, using the clubby nature of the Roland TB-303 to create a hypnotic sonic climate. Thumping kicks and their well structured addition and subtraction from the beat make for a track that would get any dancefloor cheering instantly. Artefakt’s more clubby efforts are as well thought out sonically as their more reflective pieces of the past, with all of the tones on offer complimenting one another perfectly to form a mesmerizing tapestry of sound.
Crystal Confessions sees Artefakt combine the swagger of a bouncing electro tempo with the glassy, calculated tones of techno. The track gains momentum, adding more elements, until it breaks, coming to a halt. A momentary silence occurs, before being broken by a breath-taking sequence of chords. These tones had previously been introduced but gain purpose and clout when displayed alone. The beat is then re-introduced, to be joined by more acid melodies. Emotional, atmospheric, well-structured rhythmically and leaving the listener wanting more, Crystal Confessions shows Artefakt at their absolute best. Although it may not be straight-forward techno, this track would move any dancefloor if played at the right time.
Levity closes Far And Wide and continues in the same vein as Crystal Confessions, with a bouncing kick drum pattern; although Levity is more IDM than electro. Reflective of some of B12’s work on Electro Soma I & II, Artefakt display compelling melodies and intelligently structured rhythmic patterns on Levity. Like most IDM, the piece doesn’t necessarily peak anywhere but rather evolves from one phase to another with grace. It closes out an EP that feels like it was over far too soon, in the best way possible.
Artefakt have debuted their label with an incredibly high quality release that would be useful in any DJ’s record bag, and leaves a strong interest in what is to come from their label, De Stijl, next.
Read Monument’s interview with Artefakt last year here.