Friday, 9 January 2009

Female esoterica, fine electronica

Given his well-known weakness for things Polish and ambient, Lord Bassington-Bassington finds it imperative to inform the public about the new release from Polish outfit Artefactum.

The lady behind Artefactum goes by the nom de plume of Merissa d’Erlette, and has released a small tricle of records since her project’s inception in 2001.

His Lordship has been playing Artefactum CD’s like Chaos Elements (Athanor records) and the self-produced Rosarium Hermeticum a lot. And not only because the themes that run through the (usually instrumental) music, like esotericism and alchemy, are ideas he has a long-standing interest in (he also shares Mrs. d’Erlette’s love of roses).

The Artefactum records also show a promising curve of development, as each new release seems to show increasing richness in both musical contents and the packaging of the records themselves. Oh, and for the record: Lord Bassington-Bassington holds that those of you who claim that packaging of a record doesn’t matter are either liars or have no sense of aesthetics. He is unsure which trait he thinks is the worst.

That is why Lord Bassington-Bassington is so pleased with Artefactum’s latest release, as its sonic richness is only matched by its lavish packaging. Sub Rosa is like a small nugget of gold found in the ashes of an alchemist’s athanor. (Yes, I could have written “furnace” or “oven”, but then I would miss out on an opportunity to satisfy my addiction to atrocious alliteration).

The seven-inch record (that’s a “single”, for those of you who are stuck in the digital age) is produced on stunning, bright pink vinyl, packaged in a hand-made sleeve and sealed with a pink ribbon. It contains two tracks, titled Rosa Alba and Rosa Rubea, both of which are examples of Artefactum at its (or her) best. Dark and brooding, yet gentle and inviting, soundscapes filled with little details that create a meditative atmosphere.

His Lordship feels certain that the pink vinyl and ribbon, as well as the little heart-shapes perforations on the cover, will make some feminists yak on about ”internalising female stereotypes” or something to that effect. However, His Lordship, who deeply regrets that he doesn’t look good in pink himself, would tell them to sod off (although in much more civilised terms, of course). For, as pictures of Mrs. d'Erlette reveals, her taste is clearly above criticism.

Sub Rosa is released by Drone Records, in 300 copies. Every lover of ambient music should have one of these in his record collection, where the little pink-ribboned beauties will no doubt charm the other records into buying them flowers.


  1. "Sub Rosa is released by Drone Records, and every single copy one of the 300 printed deserves a place in the record collection of every lover of ambient music."


  2. Hmm, that was quite an awkward sentence, thanks for pointing it out. I'm trying to learn this blogging business, and one of the things I've understood so far is that one is expected to write things quickly. But perhaps not so quickly as to make no sense. I'll rewrite it.

  3. Sense makes sense. And now you do too.