It’s been almost two years since Artefakt mixed the second edition of the FIBER podcast series. Since then they have been steadily adding to their reputation with their release ’Mirror Society’ on Field Records last September, and with their newest contribution to the Field Recordings catalogue. FIBER caught up with Artefakt to talk about the Field Recording 049 mix, their view on music, and Field Records.
Artefakt is a collaborative project between Nick Lapien and Robin Koek. Both are involved in many projects that vary in sonic directions and shapes. Artefakt joins these forces and our mutual vision on electronic music, reflecting on techno as a culture as opposed to a genre.
What does Field Records mean to you in this perspective?
The label is a perfect match in terms of ideology and aesthetic for the music we envision. The collaboration on our first release ‘Mirror Society’ on Field08 was a good experience and we have some new exciting projects planned for the near future. Recording the podcast for the label was a great honour, lining up with some of our great inspirators. As the podcast format is set up like an open structure, this supported us to practise a collage way of mixing alongside traditional techniques, something that isn’t possible in most live/club situations.
You announced the recording as a “deep journey through our record collection”. Can you explain what kind of journey we will experience?
Our aim was to present a full range selection of our sound, leaving enough room for imagination. The whole recording is set up as a journey, as the tracks consecutively guide you from one perspective to another, flowing through different mentalities. The first part is intended to disconnect the listener from the haste and stressful pace which is enforced in our daily lives by the way society is organised. Allowing one to open the mind by focusing on small sound and slow movement, composition with a textural focus.
Murray Schaeffer (the world’s first acoustic ecologist) coined the term “ear cleaning” as an educational method to learn and understand the sounds of our environment. Without being too pretentious we can relate to this strongly, especially in times when we are exposed to so much noise in the cities we live in and the soundscape surrounding us is saturated with. With the podcast we aimed to access the listener at a deeper level.
On the website and Facebook page Artefakt is introduced with a sentence that caught our attention. The first part says “There is no antidote for the future industry”. Can you elaborate on this point?
In a way techno for us is a vessel to escape from the temporality of being, to be free from the life rhythm regulated by industrial society. Our DJ experience originated in the squatting scene, places where the current industry has no face and its hierarchy is replaced with simple things like dancing till dawn and sharing energy.
We believe in a future industry, already manifesting itself in an irreversible way. This industry has more of a spiritual ground, departs from the cognition and sensibility of humans and is less focused on mechanisation and uniformity. It’s the counter voice to the apathetic and generic qualities that feature the modern capitalist world. In our music this is reflected by the fact that we are passionate about analogue systems and leave a lot of room for dynamics, thrusting on the intellect and imagination.
The second part explains that “Artefakt represents techno rooted in aesthetics of decayed tape, musique concrete”. Can you explain what role field recording as technique plays for you as musician, DJ/producer and how we can recognise this in the mix?
This primarily is a concept. Musique concrete implies that every sound has the potential the be the origin of a musical structure. This philosophy is very important for the way we approach music.
It also refers to the fact that we like to work with different sorts of tape as a medium and incorporate this in our studio process for certain physical, musical qualities. Music by pioneers like Daphne Oram, Eliane Radigue and Tom Dissevelt are great sources of inspiration. In the process of selecting the records for the set these early fifties/sixties experiments did not make it in the end, but we are a planning a cassette-based project this year that features these analogue inspirations.
Tom Dissevelt (right) & Dick Raaijmakers (left), Natlab.
Can we expect any unreleased exclusives in the mix?
We had the intention to combine it with future materials but got stuck in the loophole between composition and mixing at some point. In order to finalise to podcast we had to leave these out. An item that was not officially released is a recording from the London Modular Alliance live at Hackney Wick, which has been combined with a track from E.R.P.. These really are some guys to look out for; they work with a full modular set-up on-stage and have a very musical sound with clever melodies and rhythms. Can’t wait to see them live.
London Modular Alliance
Does the mix include tracks that can be interpreted as landmarks for the Artefakt sound?
Not really, it’s more about the way they combine that forms the landmark.
Artefakt released their podcast Field Recording 049 today (15/02/2013). We’re ready for the journey.
“Intended to access the listener at a deeper level, FR049 features tracks from Abdulla Rashim, Hardfloor, Milton Bradley, Tropic of Cancer and Voices from the Lake among others.” – Field
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