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Artifakt - Artifakt II

Guest Le Lotus Bleu

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Guest Le Lotus Bleu

Artifakt - Artifakts II (Timecode)


This is the second album from Matthew De Nobrega aka Artifakt from South Africa, he's well known for being responsible of the Timecode sound as he's responsible of all Timecode & also Nexus Media mastering.


Tracklist ( in real it's a total mess made of strange signs but the trackname according Online shops gives this):


1. Zulu 2'37

2. Plastic 6'31

3. Made 7'00

4. Ohm 5'09

5. 5 8'13

6. 6 7'28

7. 7 0'49

8. Fish 7'20

9. Circle 0'39

10. Peak 7'39

11. Eye 6'21

12. ? 7'39

13. ? 7'34


Artifakt II has a concept, that's why you'll notice 3 short tracks (1,7 &9) that must be considered as transitions, furthermore tracks are all linked together (not mixed but there's a non-stop music flow).


1. It just consists in a short intro with strange distants sounds upto 1'20 than mutes in a Psy-Broken Beat tune.


2. The bassline reminds me Prince's songs especially at 0'40, in other words it sounds funky. By moment the rythmic has some indus elements (from 2'45). At 3'25 you'll experience a swift break made of a sharp decrease filter plus a kinda retro spinning (like dj's are doing). Otherwise the global harmony is quite soft despite the presence of several twisted leads.


3. At 0'30 an inversed sample is played, Made has a part at the beginning with short brass which reminds me Eat Static - City Of Sin & in a minor aspect Bucketheads with their anthemn (these sounds fall into my mind). It sounds more melodic than previous one in a whirlwind style but still with high twist on tones. After the break at 4'30, the restart is, with the same thema, in slow motion.


4. The intro is robotic with incongruous sounds, quickly & frankly the atmosphere gets funkadelik with a very groovy bass in a fast speed. Then weird indus tones comes from a break (from 1'45). The evolution of the track is based on a progressive raise of energy & postive agressivity through the sounds.


5. During this tune, Artifakt has a malicious pleasure to play music hitting on his pans (this is Mrs Artifakt that won't be happy). Particularirty here, a twisted melancholic lead which appears from 4'38. Except this, the global content is more classical Timecode sounding : pachydermic & furious.


6. All along the tune i can't refrain myself from thinking about Infected Mushroom (2 first albums period). There's a funny lead from 1'36, a mix of fly & a plaintive personn. At 5'17, there's an organ solo coming from those in old churchs which confers a gloomy touch. Then the melody part from the organ mutes into a an electrified riffs which is joined by a highly sharp & shrill lead from 6'35. Ok, so let's call this song ArtiMushies instead of '6' :lol: .


7. Like i said previously, this track belongs to the short transition of the differents of the album.


8. Come-back to more Artifakt sounding with backfiring brass melodies (from 1'40), the atmosphere is more serious, at first at least, because of the unexpected & disconcerting quick break at 2'30. Indeed, it's like an awful group in the metro playing acoustic guitar plus percussions with a singer for begging that would cut this track in his middle. At 4'22 a new sound is happening, it's half way between a mewing & a sparkling but one sure thing is the total corrosive aspect for ears. I forgot to tell about the bass how warn it is, you can check it at 5'40 during the break.


9. Another swift transition made of a totally detuned tones, in a normal way it could have look like a Xmas tune...


10. The bassline is very flat, and later bolts. Then i got focused on the rythmic, very heavy, boderline with saturation from this point of view if you like unpolished productions you'll be served. From 3'20 a gimmick (sort of digital cry) seems to follow the rythmic in the background. The tune continues thicker with more & more leads & layers, so it's getting a bit indistinct, muddleheaded. During the break a strange sound occurs from 5'28 , it makes me think to an elephant which farts. I think this one is a bit too crazy for the mortal's common.


11.Artifakt has recovered the pans which were hidden by his wife, he can now fully explain his passion for cooking beats with them once again from 0'30. In his mad labo, Pr Artifakt also has experienced some sounds with a plastic balloon putting the mic inside it from 1'18 & some other indus mechanism at 2'30. From 3'33 you get an hardly bearable symphony, coz of the ultra-dominant squeaning tones.From 5'00 the structure changes, it evolves more trippy & then shortly nice, funny psychdelik before a come-back of the trippy part upto the end.


12. This track appears to me like a megamix of several ideas contained in the previous tracks, for example Artifakt makes us again the trick of the track 8's break .


13. The last one is more original, comparetively to the whole album, it's an almost happy, positive feeling bathing in a myriad of twisted sounds like always plus this border line unpolished statured sound treatment.


It's an very interesting album from the production & creativity views consequently it supposes from you a high involvement during the listen in order to catch it all which means it is very mentally & physically testing. Musically, you can expect : Timecode sound trademarks, plus the Artifakt's madness appeard on recent tracks on compilations altogether mixed with his passion for experimentation & incorporating weird sounds. So, an album that won't be easy to enter inside for a lot of Psytrance ears, as even myself i encountered some difficulties on certain tracks. As a result , Artifakt II is an album you'll eitheir totally like or dislike it, the intermediate position being impossible here


Normally i give favorites, here i won't, all tracks are so klonk, except maybe T12 a bit weaker, that's nearly impossible to have any preferances.


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Le Lotus Bleu you've done a lot better than me...I sat down at the computer last Saturday to write a review for this after listening to it...but could not describe what I had just heard...and even listening to it again, it drains me. (A good thing! Because the album makes you work for it!!)


I personally think this album is absolutely brilliant. As a whole, the album is flawless. The production is perfect, the concept of this album is friggin' too cool for school, and the tracks, well, they speak for themselves, but some of the stuff that he does to separate each section of it track to take it to a new level is impossibly brilliant. And he achieves this effortlessly.


The album is worth the time I spent waiting for it to be made. But like you said it will be one of those "you either love it or hate it"...

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  • 2 weeks later...

wasnt that surprising, artifakts 1 was a great album too, beetle is a great track


Well to me it was since I heard Artifakts II before I heard Artifakts, which actually sounded quite bad <_<


edit: typo

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some of the tracks here are okay, even good. but over all it sounds very pompous, the whole pretentious 'artsy' approach smacks of self-importance, and the repetitive "Infected circa 2003" melodies start to annoy the heck out of me after the first couple of tracks.


Reminds me of the Misted Muppet, though somewhat more interesting, less gothic and more psychedelic. which isn't saying much, since Misted Muppet album was the epitome of overrated, and I have the feeling this is where this album is headed as well.


His first album was a lot better, imo, but the quality of his compilation tracks has steadily decreased over the last 2 years, from exceptional to basic cookie-cutter dancefloor material. This album is the logical result of this change, though it will probably sell a lot more copies than the first one, as it is a lot more accessible.

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Maybe the most original and innovative album you can buy this year. A combination of South African hard full on with old school elements and breakbeat.

Ultra-phat kicks, snares and hi-hats and fresh ideas. I still prefer Shift's album much more, but this is definately one of the best album of the year. 8.5-9/10

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I probably do not know one tenth of what you people in here know about trance. Anyhow, here is my review from discogs. It can be captured up this way: I love this album.


What a great, interesting, and innovative release from Artifakt this is. Dark, creepy, scary, is what comes to mind. I guess sometimes I find that progressive and psy can sound too much as their genre. It's just a question of who's the better at it. Well, this album by Artifakt proves that there are still untread paths to explore without going completely experimental. And the way it's put together as a journey is excellent.


The album starts off with the space sounding choir from the soundtrack to Stanley Kubricks "Space Odyssey 2001" and develops in to some sort of break-beat. From track 2 we enter tranceland, but a new, challenging tranceland. Simple basslines chasing each other and edgy lead melodies ensuring the attention. More complex than psy, but not with typical psy-elements, it's some sort of hybrid between psy and experimental. Danceable? Oh, yes. But with yourself! This sound goes upto and including track 6. Just one long dark, journey, filled with breaks.


Track 7 is a 49 seconds break setting the album up for the 2nd half. And what a break! 49 seconds of breathtaking and totally mind-consuming sounds. Killer production! Wouldn't recommend listening to this when flying high if not with good friends! But if your are? The trip ...! And the tone is kept dark with track 8, even if this track incorporates a techno lead. Actually, this lead does annoy me a little, but considering how good these guys are I reckon it may just be a question of time before I love it. Track 9 goes slow again but from 2:23 in track 10 the pace for demon dancing with yourself is set again. Boy, this is dark and perfect for nighttime. Complex, noisy, repetitious and simple.


Track 11 builds up to my favourite on the album, the apparently untitled track 12. This must be a contender for best track of 2005. I don't even know what to call this style. It's psytrance but without the typical psytrance elements. And the bass that kicks in at 2:46!!! The first 5 times or so I heard it, it was impossible to take in completely. And then kicks in the space choir from track 1. I've been waiting for this bass for years! And like the album as a whole, I've heard nothing like this before. Even when Artifakt offers a ballearic dance tune, they stay clear of the crowd.


Track 13 enters with a sample taken from the Ridley Scott classic "Blade Runner". Rutger Hauer, who's portraying a replicant, says to his creator just before killing him: "If only you could see what I have seen with your eyes ... I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shore of Orion. I've watched seabees glittering ... all those moments will be lost in time like tears ..."


I guess it would be cheesy to end: "If only you could hear what I have heard with ... hrm, my ears", but this album really is great. Innovative with a razorshorp edge, killer tracks and great production this album could be a classic in the making. Highly recommended.


Favourites: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 (!), 11, 12 (!!), 13


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some of the tracks here are okay, even good. but over all it sounds very pompous, the whole pretentious 'artsy' approach smacks of self-importance, and the repetitive "Infected circa 2003" melodies start to annoy the heck out of me after the first couple of tracks.


Reminds me of the Misted Muppet, though somewhat more interesting, less gothic and more psychedelic. which isn't saying much, since Misted Muppet album was the epitome of overrated, and I have the feeling this is where this album is headed as well.


His first album was a lot better, imo, but the quality of his compilation tracks has steadily decreased over the last 2 years, from exceptional to basic cookie-cutter dancefloor material. This album is the logical result of this change, though it will probably sell a lot more copies than the first one, as it is a lot more accessible.


Unfortunatelly i'll have to agree. But i'd give it more listens. I have a feeling that it's a grower.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Unfortunatelly i'll have to agree. But i'd give it more listens. I have a feeling that it's a grower.


...FP, i suspect your feeling is exactly bang on the money ......cos its been growing on me very nicely for a while now and is still offering plenty of new and exciting treats along the way :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

no the basslines are most of the time a mix between walk in the woods and a full on bassline.. so it is more original


very true artifakt playes with the basslines continue the whole cd,

once more rolling basslines, then walk in the woods,

there goal is indeed trying not to be repeating and I must say they almost succeeded in that,

mystique atmosphere but mixed emotions,

some sounds I really like others are not my style so it's a bit up and down when I listen to the album,

level of psychedelic: pretty high

level of climaxes: smooth but not so well done, a bit flat imo

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Artifakt – Artifakts II


Posted Image


Hi-res cover: front + back


Artist: Artifakt (South Africa)

Title: Artifakts II

Format: CD (jewel case)

Label: Timecode Records (South Africa)

Cat. #: TCCD014

Distribution: Arabesque

Date: November 2005


Track listing:


01. 02’37” Inverted Ankh

02. 06’31” Plastic

03. 07’00” Male

04. 05’09” Ohm

05. 08’13” 5

06. 07’28” 6

07. 00’09” 7

08. 07’20” SPQR

09. 00’39” Fish

10. 07’39” Malkuth

11. 06’21” Isis

12. 07’39” (Untitled track)

13. 07’34” Eye


.m3u-playlist: http://tinyurl.com/b42ac (all tracks!)




Thinking outside the box…


With Artifakts II South African producer and Timecode Records boss Matthew De Nobrega takes psytrance a step further… And by step, I mean a quantum leap! Not since the release of Juno Reactor’s Labyrinth have I come across a concept album quite like this… None of the tracks have titles – they are all represented by symbols gathered from ancient cultures and more recent artefacts from the industrial era … Matt wanted to do something completely different from the vast majority of cheesy psytrance releases and eventually chunked out this concept-album… Thematically, musically and concept-wise it’s very far from what we’re used to within psytrance, but it totally works… Let me explain why…


Let me take you thru the tracks…


#01: Inverted Ankh

The Egyptian Anhk symbolizes the man who got corrupted into the crucifix… Invert that, and you’re left with a man distancing himself from the crucifix… I think! Hehe… Anyway, this is the opening track consisting of a lot of ancient monks chanting – right up until the Gregorian mood is brutally slashed into pieces by high-pitched, razor-sharp stabbing synths accompanied by dirty break beats… What a start! ;o)


#02: Plastic

“I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics! It’s a great future in plastics! Think about it… Will you think about it?” This album is a continuous journey, so we drift seamlessly into the next track which also gives the first taste of edgy South African psytrance… Loads of snorting, crackling, banging and cutting going on here… Yeah, this is super-edgy, über-industrialized fusion psytrance with hints to all kinds of teKknoid sub-genres… Back on plastixx! Despite all the stuff mentioned above, Matt also manages to incorporate an array of uplifting melodies into the mix… Brilliant track!


#03: Male

“Oh yeah, I like it slow just like that!” This track is commonly referred to as 'Male', whereas 'Sex' would probably be more correct as the porn-sample also implies… Anyway… Once again, we’re exposed to a landslide of different musical influences… The track revolves around a thick French filter-house sample not unlike Kojak or Superfunk… As the track progresses more psytrance elements are added and soon we’re witnessing a cornucopia of multi-fragmented muzak which explodes into several climaxes of orgasmic nature …Another wonderful track – ripe as hell!


#04: Ohm

The Ohm (or aum) is the most sacred syllable in Hinduism and is the sound which most mantras start with… It’s also the fastest track so far and its starts out with a Squarepusher’esque venture into high-pitched electro stabs… Tons of syncopated acid-lines are mixed with psychedelic electro-pieces and form a fast-paced melodic energy bomb… Highly danceable and instantly trip-friendly… I love it!


#05: 5

On the fifth track Matt is impersonating the Swedish Chef on acid… All kinds of kitchen appliances make out the intro which has more than a few surprises in store… Later on the track takes several directions; from evil tech-trance over trancefloor friendly industrial psytrance to floating, epic morning trance… And that’s only describing the first three minutes – it gets even better later on with at least a couple of explosive breaks, twists and turns… Another sure-fit blast and one of the endless highlights of the album…


#06: 6

“Six is the sign of the devil! With everything holy there is something unholy. The essence of temptation!” Another track named after esoteric numerology… And a devilish one too! That’s right, this is by far the darkest track so far – completely soaked in a hardcore, dubby, eerie vibe… Haunting, yet hypnotizing… The demented melody is annoying at first, but it *will* suck you right in… Believe me! Same goes for the carnival music and the orchestral work reminiscent of The Misted Muppet… It’s all class stuff! A mesmerizing track!


#07: 7

The mighty seven… Not only is the track called seven, it’s also positioned as number seven… 7x7 = 49 which is also the duration of this track in seconds! A shocking, explosive skit that will put your speakers to the ultimate test… Trust me!


#08: SPQR

SPQR is a Latin abbreviation which translates into ‘by the order of the senate and people of Rome’. It was used to sign edicts and sentences – and now it’s an outstanding track by Artifakt… After a lengthy, floating intro this track continues down the same brutal path as the previous skit… Hardcore wall-to-wall industrial soundscapes in the foreground and feather light, naïve melodies in the background… Add a bunch of filtered, cut up, wrestled and re-configured samples from familiar tracks and you’ve got the jist of this track… It’s more introvert and less easily-accessible than some of the previous tracks, but once it comes around, you’ll love… I know I do!


#09: Fish

The fish was an early Christian symbol for Jesus – and this is another short little transition track… Sounds like a madman going nuts on an old church organ… Tasty!


#10: Malkuth

Malkuth (which translates as ‘kingdom’) is the tenth of the sephirot in the kabbalistic tree of life. It sits at the bottom of the tree, below Yesod, and it is the realm of the Earth, the kingdom of God, in which human beings live and act…. This track is downright evil with its grim, unpolished teKkno appearance… The melodies from earlier strike a notable contrast to the grim, industrial noises here… A hybrid of grotesque, outer worldly bits and pieces which ultimately ties themselves together nicely… Another seemingly introvert, but ultimately satisfying track… Wonderfully noisy!


#11: Isis

Isis is a goddess in the Egyptian belief and this hieroglyph depicts her throne… This track continues right where the last one left off, but soon takes a more banging direction… Hard-hitting, fast-paced pumping night-trance with an influx of industrial/noise elements thrown in just to piss everyone off… But it works… Oh my, does it work! This is acid-ridden, wall-shaking, neighbour-annoying hybrid trance… Darker than anything here and will easily make Xenomorph run up a tree… Smashing!


#12: (Untitled track)

The mysterious untitled track – the only one without a symbol! Yikes! Basically it’s ‘Isis Pt. 2’ though with a slightly more epic vibe… The rhythm section is absolutely fucking awesome here – and if your jaw hasn’t dropped yet it will now… The breaks + climaxes are absolutely marvellous and… I have to go change my pants now, as I’ve just creamed them… Again! The perfect track!


#13: Eye

“If only you could see what I have seen with your eyes... I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shore of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannehauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears!” The final track has the symbol of The Eye of Horus (originally ‘The Eye of Ra’) which is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and power, from the deity Horus (or Ra). Of course the Blade Runner sample fits the music + the theme perfectly – it’s the perfect symbiosis really! This track is also less dark than some of the previous ones, and focuses on uplifting, yet hard-hitting electronic music… It’s beautiful, but sadly it’s also the last track… Damn!


Sweet mother of Ghandi! I’m blown away! This is by far the most interesting thing ever released on Timecode – and easily kicks the living shit out of most psytrance releases in recent years. It’s *that* good! I’ve had this album for over a month now, and I keep finding new bits and pieces every single time I listen to it… I’m really, really, REALLY impressed by Matt’s production talents – is there any musical style this man can’t do? This will seriously be a benchmark album for years to come… Mark my words – this is musical history in the making!


The whole concept with the symbols and crossover music might seem pretentious on paper, but believe me – it works! From the cryptic artwork to the well-produced, genre-bending music of majestic proportions… Get it - or get left out! Enough rambling for now – this is an essential album for any fan of intelligent, electronic music… Enjoy!


Favourites: All (!!!!)



Posted Image


External links:

Timecode Records: http://www.timecode.co.za

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/578799

Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/7c22g

TranceShop: http://tinyurl.com/d3nq6

Beatspace: http://tinyurl.com/bma3p

Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/78dnk

Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/8fhm9

Juno: http://tinyurl.com/dza7n

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  • 3 months later...

I was gonna write a long ass review but then I read yours DP.

That's pretty much exactly how I feel.


I've seen Artifakt live more times than I can remember, cuz he's

so involved in the scene in SA, but everytime he plays he tears

trancefloors apart. He's something special, to say the very least.


I think this album is maybe a bit less experimental than his first,

but I like it more. His style is much more refined and you can

hear that he worked long and hard on this. There's some awesome

ideas and concepts that he pulls off through his tunes and he

always adds a unique twist.


For me this is an instant classic.


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