In 2017, Johan Agebjörn and Mikael Ögren impressed me a lot with their well-crafted debut “We Never Came to the White Sea”. From the press-info of this one, I learned “Artefact” is an “unofficial sci-fi soundtrack” inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s classic novel “Rendezvous with Rama”, of which the main theme seems to be space exploration, the encounter with the otherworldy, the very Other, the big unknown. “Artefact” features collaborations with Stefan Strand (aka Between Interval), independent musician Johan Emmoth (aka Le Prix), as well as ethereal soprano vocalist Martina Björk.
Together they created a 64-minute aural journey with a lovely pulsating yet percolating dynamic throughout, one that traverses styles ranging from ambient to slices of trance along captivating atmospheres airing a similar kind of cinematic style as found on the duo’s debut. As mentioned previously, there are various passages with a great drive (such as “Static Air”, “Monitoring the Zooids” and the joyful, up-tempo “Space Travel”) next to lots of heartwarming electronics shining overall. The only flaw is the peculiar, rather weird “Octapod” found in the middle of the album.
All in all, “Artefact” is well accomplished and recommended to all having a soft spot for a blend of gracious contemporary and vintage electronics with a classic sci-fi vibe.
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