The great thing about Frederiction, NB-based Artifiseer is that each of his new releases adds something new to his already complex songs. His second full EP, Enigma, adds further to the experimental electronic soundscapes, this time bringing in real vocals for the first time.
Just like the last EP, Artifiseer bookends this EP with an intro and outro, cementing the idea that you’re listening to an album and not a disjointed collection of songs. The intro features a lot of disembodied chanting over electronic hisses, while the latter is a slow swell, beginning with a very sparse electronic beat that eventually grows into a cacophony.
The intro leads into “After Dark,” the best song on the album which is apparently a “single edit” version of the song, which will also appear on Artifseer’s upcoming full-length. The song features pulses to begin, before adding in the sound of a music box and a healthy dosage of “hey!” before bringing in real, distinguishable vocals. “Stop! (Reprise)” shows Artifiseer messing around with pitch-shifting and layered vocals over a dark electronic beat.
“(e)vermore, ne(v)er (a)gai(n)” is a song that goes in a million directions, but it doesn’t feel thin. The opening is chilling, almost haunting, before transitioning into a danceable synth beat. “◊ Vilis ♥ Amator ◊” is another highlight, featuring a fluttering, bright synth to start off, and later bringing in a dubstep-influenced beat over more of Artifiseer’s distorted vocals.
“うっとりさせる (Uttori sa seru)” and “Be Mine” are both instrumentals but still feature enough to keep attention. The former features the sounds of piano over scattered synth flourishes, whereas the latter is probably comprised of the heaviest beats Artifiseer has put together so far.
As always, Artifiseer’s electronic explorations are a pleasure to dig into, and it’s a wonder that he manages to continue to be more complex on each subsequent release.
Top Tracks: “After Dark”; “◊ Vilis ♥ Amator ◊”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)