Garret Meyer, founder and future-funk mastermind of Artifakts is at it again. Since his breakthrough opening set for Pretty Lights in Madison, WI on November 15, 2012, Artifakts has been churning out singles almost every week or two. Pay the man at iTunes and Amazon, stream on Spotify, or bump it for free at Bandcamp and Soundcloud. But it’s not just being available all over the web with quantity; we’re talking quality.
Today’s Song of the Day is Artifakts’ “Of the Essence.” Released on December 11, this one rounds off at 2:52 and it’s nearly three minutes of pure joy time. Busting in with a cut up funky saxophone melody that’s somewhat reminiscent of Big Gigantic, the track really kicks off after 20 seconds, and that’s about when you’re out of your seat making your swaggiest face and dancing your ass off. Intermittent but extremely accessible spacey synthesizer tones relate back to much of Artifakts’ trip-hoppier tracks. Hands clapping, feet stomping, you sing along at 1:47 and take a well-deserved break half way through the slow fade out.
This latest single is notably truer to form to funk than Artifakts’ more consistent sample-based electronic hip-hop, but nobody’s complaining. When asked about the inspiration behind “Of the Essence,” Meyer responded: “I came across the track while digging through a stack of old records. Loved the horns and started choppin’. I always dig the funky stuff.”
And it shows. While Artifakts is more fundamentally hip-hop, many if not every track features some funky or jazzy element.
Just like Artifakts’ Wisconsin home, his hip-hop styling falls somewhere between both coasts, if you like. It’s a bit similar to the Roc-a-Fella Records school of production with a twinge of G-Funk, and then a bunch of extremely well placed electro bass-heavy and synthy astro-nautical aspects to blast you into orbit. But not out to Pluto; Artifakts never goes 100% dub step. To put it another way, the womps never eclipse the soul of any track, which is crucial to trip hop, and by extension, funk, jazz, and soul lovers in the year 2012.
With this one and surely just like much of the rest of Artifakts’ catalogue, Meyer dusted off the vinyl from the nastiest parties 20 or 30 years ago and cut them up into something incredible and new that everyone can really enjoy regardless of age or scene. No Artifakts song can be described aptly as juvenile; it’s too well done for that. However that’s not to say that all of it would appeal to many people over 35. “Of the Essence” is one of the few exceptions to that rule. It brings you back to banginest parties from long before you were born, but somehow, through the digital wizardry of Artifakts makes it feel brand spankin’ new.
Written by Peter DeStefano
OurVinyl | Contributor