Review Summary: Diverse, delectable and brimming with intrigue, Artifacts is an endearing exploration of electronic music’s most charming elements.
Multi-genre electronic music releases can boast an ineffable staying power when every shot hits its target. From Shpongle’s pioneering efforts at the turn of the millennium to the more contemporary offerings wrought by the likes of Culprate and the Zebbler Encanti Experience, when skilled music producers get genuinely adventurous the results can be rather extraordinary. Generally speaking, it seems that the stone-cold classics of this curious microcosm have a knack for placing the narrative in the foreground, allowing any and all stylings to be used as vehicles with which the plot is driven forward. This means-to-an-end mentality almost always renders keenly unique offerings, and in the case of Shamanic Technology and Dusko’s most recent full-length, offers a perfect balance of introspective wandering and electrifying charisma.
Simmer a healthy portion of glitch hop on medium heat and mix in sprinklings of halftime, downtempo, world bass, neurohop, footwork, future garage and deep house to get the gist of Artifacts
' intriguing flavour palate. Stir frequently for 57 minutes and remove from heat. Serve the dish over a well-tuned sound system and you’ve got a recipe that’s guaranteed to impress even the most discerning of house guests. It’s the attention to detail that’s most stunning here, and the quiet subtleties that permeate the lush soundscape makes Artifacts
a real listener’s album. Percussively organic and rhythmically dynamic, every track is dressed to the nines and has a unique charm that ties into the overall vibe with consistent acuity. Vocal effects and a calculated use of psychedelic elements are frequent and woven intrinsically into their respective tunes, imbuing a tactile headiness to the leftfield songwriting. All the while, well-placed swan dives into deep and wonky bass grooves give the album enough muscle to move a crowd of dancing show-goers with ease, and the way these angular mechanizations sprout so naturally from the earthy mindfulness that underpins the album is nothing short of impressive.
One blast of a cut like the neurohop driven “True Rebellion” or the glitchy halftime swinger “Jive Talk” is more than enough to show off this duo’s chops when it comes to forging electrifying rump-shakers, but repeated listens unveil nuanced layers of mind-bending sound design on even these most bodacious of coddiwomples. Beyond the outright bangers, ShamTech and Dusko’s obsessively sculpted production style really takes the spotlight, and ensures even the more laid back selections grow towards gorgeous climaxes. “Firewalk” instills this notion early on, but just past the halfway mark, “Miyamoto” can’t help but steal the show with its fanciful eastern strings and sultry vocals spliced into a gridwork of gravity-defying glitch hop. It’s a track that confounds as much as it sweet-talks, and it underscores the breathtakingly seamless cross-genre-pollination that really sets Artifacts
in a world of its own design. From the robotic baby-making vibrations of “Whippet Moth” to the tech house-meets-future garage excursions of “Chasm”, no stone is left unturned here, and while the hour runtime suffers from the occasional hiccup in continuity, the patchwork quilt that has been sown here is undeniably warm and comfy.
is a grand success, and is well deserving of a home among the ranks of multi-genre bass music’s most noted success stories. With roots sturdy in the soil of glitch hop, the branches of this bioluminescent tree seem to reach in every direction, soaking up a broad swath of wavelengths and channeling them into something that feels, for lack of a better word, alive. Seamlessly hybridizing so many contrasting styles is surely no small undertaking, but these two wizards make it sound like second nature. Diverse, delectable and brimming with intrigue, Artifacts
is an endearing exploration of electronic music’s most charming elements.