Artefakt’s output is all so exceptionally well balanced that it’s just as capable of driving the headphones listener into a spinning state of hypnosis as it is at filling and driving the dance floor.
Since 2014, Dutch producers Nick Lapien and Robin Koek have been released a handful of EP’s as Artefakt on the Delsin, Prologue and Field imprints, a format that plays to their strengths by allowing them to group their meticulously constructing and disparate flavors of techno together on individual records.
Delsin is an obvious home for the duo, a label that continues to blur the lines between what constitutes an album or an EP, and Kinship‘s slight seven track debut sits somewhere between the two, yet contains a wealth of varied material.
What sets the pair apart from the rest is their uncanny ability to pair pounding club grooves with the kind of enveloping atmospheric flourishes that make Delsin such a natural outlet for their material. Artefakt’s output is all so exceptionally well balanced that it’s just as capable of driving the headphones listener into a spinning state of hypnosis as it is at filling and driving the dance floor.
For a start, it’s book-ended by the sun-scorched ambient haze and sci-fi pulse of the introductory title track, redolent of Aroy Dee’s “Night Sky” on Sketches, and the eerie “Tapeloop 1” that recalls early Helios. With the rumble, sputter and random neuron-fire of “Tapestry,” Artefakt begin to slowly build Kinship‘s momentum until “Entering The City” introduces some classic deep techno. It’s packed full of powder-coated, inner-city pads and metallic textures, expert use of filters, soaring peaks accentuated by scissoring hi-hats and a propulsive sub-bass that compellingly chapters its twelve night-flight soaring minutes.
It’s arguable that there’s simply too much acid around these days for anything to stand out from the crowd. Rather than rely on the simple, narcotic throb of the headphone-friendly “Fernweh”‘s 303 line to do all the heavy lifting, Artefakt elevate it through layers of ghostly, atmospheric ambience, subway train clatter and propulsive percussion. The unapologetic 4/4 simplicity of the belting “Return to Reason” then heralds a dramatic shift to the laser-cut dance floor, all filtered and delayed acid squelch, clattering top end.
Kinship isn’t perhaps as immediate as their two previous EP’s for Delsin, The Fifth Planet containing a much stronger dose of acid and The Mental Universe a far heavier and more intense concentration of almost industrial yet still atmospheric techno, but is meticulously produced and thoughtfully paced with both DJ and listener in mind. Play extremely loud.
Kinship is available on Delsin.