Based upon their shared love for melancholic, hypnotic voodoo music, Nick Lapien and Robin Kroek’s Artefakt project has slowly developed a pensive and rich-textured soundtrack over the years. By making small changes of texture and tone, the duo create cerebral and balanced atmospheres that engage the listener and dancefloors across the globe, thrusting them to the very forefront of the international techno scene. Having released previous work on Delsin, including their debut album “Kinship” in 2017 and “Monsoon” a couple of years on, the pair now return with their second album “Days Bygone”, a record steeped in mystery.
Rather than formless ambience, Artefkat have produced a series of pronounced patterns that are still prevalent, however there’s less emphasis on percussion and more time spent shaping soundworlds with nimble arps and gliding pads. Serving up seven intricately interwoven tracks, from the fluttering formations and gently buffet languid keys of “Orinoco Basin” to the sublime keys and pads of “Lapien” and “Koek, Artefakt continue to push the boundaries of electronic music and leave much to the imagination as to what comes next.
How are you? And what have you been getting up to recently?
We are doing well. We have tried to approach the unprecedented situation that has unfolded over the last year with positivity— by focusing on new studio projects and working on new compositions. It has definitely been a more introspective time for us and this also created a different sense of time in the music we recorded during this period.
This is your second album on the esteemed Delsin, was it planned for long?
It’s really great to work with Delsin again on making this dream come true, it has been a long-nurtured record which came into being over the last years. The new album is combining some pieces that have been with us for some time that functioned as the foundation for new material which was written this last year.
As a more ambient/ experimental/ IDM leaning album, what would you say your inspiration was when recording?
This last year we tuned into a lot of ambient and soundscape artists, this has been a really grounding experience for us and this sonic surrounding inspired the record in different ways.
Did you record “Days Bygone” during or before the pandemic? How has this period affected your productivity/ production styles?
Being more stationary we had more time to experiment in the studio and were able to go deeper into some new methods exploring the boundaries between electronic and acoustic sound. In a time of remoteness there is something really powerful about working with physical acoustic instruments like the upright piano and working with analog tape, which also captures time decaying.
How might your workflow differ when producing more dance focussed tracks compared to more ambient/ experimental material? Any pro tips you can give?
It’s more about working with textures and creating densely layered effect chains. Taking the clock out of the equation allows for more free and undulating compositions that invite the listeners to a different kind of sonic hypnosis. Pro tip: never replace your tape loop, the bumps and irregularities are part of the story!
If you had to pick a favorite track from the LP, which one would it be and why?
It’s a total picture for us and it’s really hard to pick a favorite and we recommend listeners to tune in for the whole narrative.
What are your plans for the rest of 2021 and do you have anything you can share?!
We developed an audio-visual installation in collaboration with artist Thomas Swinkels which creates a spatial experience meditating on the lockdowns, we can hopefully exhibit this in the near future. We are working on a new EP as well and got some remixes coming up.
“Days Bygone” is out now on Delsin Records and is available to listen and buy on Bandcamp.
Tracklist: 1. Cambium 2. Orinoco Basin 3. Iridescence 4. Half Speed Tape 5. Terraforming 6. Wolf Number 7. Days Bygone