- Robin Koek and Nick Lapien's full debut as Artefakt has been a while coming. The Dutch duo's spacious, patient techno has been spread across several compilation EPs on Field, Prologue Portefeuille and Tikita since 2012. "Narcosis," a nine-minute thrum of firm chords and aerodynamic contours from 2014, is typical of their fluid sound. Its granular detail—the teeth-smacking hi-hats, the bubbling water sounds beneath—is ample evidence of the duo's meticulous approach, which probably explains the wait.
Like many techno records, The Fifth Planet references science fiction, but Artefakt's take is strikingly utopian. The 909-esque percussion in "From Our Minds To Yours" is smooth and edgeless, and it sinks easily into Koek and Lapien's aqueous soundscape. Its uplifting ambient melodies pass over the drums like cloud wisps, giving "From Our Minds To Yours" a slender yet distinctive shape.
A pulsing chord casts a slight shadow over "The Fifth Planet"'s expansive terrain, but its mood is otherwise free of foreboding overtones. It's 11 minutes, which is long even for Artefakt, and its changes are glacial, but those gradual transformations cast their spell in no time at all. Comparatively, "Transit" is somewhat disappointing. Its detuned, droopy acid phrases feel stale, and undermine the sense of mystery that makes the rest of The Fifth Planet so seductive.
A2 From Our Mind To Yours
B1 The Fifth Planet