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Name: Adam Bernard
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Living History - The Artifacts Are Back
Thursday, December 09, 2010

Since 1998 it had been El Da Sensei and Tame One, solo artists. The Artifacts were a thing of the past. A part of underground hip-hop history. Known for their two albums, 1994’s Between a Rock and a Hard Place and 1997’s That’s Them, and their biggest hit, “Wrong Side of Da Tracks.”

Their breakup wasn’t a bitter one, they just decided to record separately. A little over two years ago, however, at the Rock Steady Crew’s 31st anniversary party, they found themselves together on stage again, and they really liked it. After a few more performances as a duo at the Rock Steady Crew’s 33rd anniversary show, and at the closing week of the legendary hip-hop record store Fat Beats in LA, something became apparent to both of them - it was time to bring the Artifacts back.

Tame One feels the closing of Fat Beats affected them on a subliminal level, saying “it wasn’t like we heard about it and then were like oh wow, now we have to do this, but on a subliminal level, yeah, kinda. The current state of the music game made us want to try to make a difference somehow. Neither of us wanted our past to just be for nothing.” El Da Sensei adds “I think us growing up and realizing, I won’t say time is short, but you only have so many chances to do certain things, and when hearing what everybody was saying I was like we had already been talkin anyway so let’s get it done.”

With the reaction the duo were receiving from their live performances in mind they decided the first step in their reuniting would be a tour “We wanted everybody to know it was real,” Tame One explains. “Rather than having people just thinking it was a rumor we hit the show circuit to show them, to make it live. It’s different than ‘oh, I heard they got back together.’ No, ‘I SAW them at a club rockin.’”

El Da Sensei says another reason they decided to hit the road right away is that they realized “a lot of people have never seen us live. They only know the vinyl, they only know the YouTube videos, and stuff like that. We had to introduce ourselves again just to reinforce what we started and get the new cats to know this is what we did, but we also have some new music coming. A lot of times you don’t get to do that. It seems like you gotta always put a record out first just to reintroduce yourself, but I figure why not go on stage? That’s a better way to do it.”

The next stage they’ll be rocking is the one at the Acoustic Cafe in Bridgeport on December 11th, as a part of Foul Mouth Jerk’s Oldest Trick in the Book album release tour, which also features Foul Mouth Jerk, TopR and The Problemaddicts.

From their recent time on stage together both Tame One and El Da Sensei have noticed they’ve changed a bit as artists. According to Tame One, “we both got better, and whatever chemistry we had that made people want to see us in the first place, there’s more of that, but there’s growth, it shows some progression.” El Da Sensei adds “we got different styles as far as how we used to rock back in the day, it’s a different atmosphere, and a different industry.”

What the Artifacts will sound like when they start recording new songs is a mystery even to them as El Da Sensei says “I don’t even know what it’s gonna sounds like, but I know it’s gonna sound hot.” He added “I’m more excited than anything to see how everything is gonna turn out.”

There’s currently no timetable for a reunited Artifacts album. Tame One says the duo have a strict rule about releasing work, “we will sell no rhymes before it’s time.”

In the meantime they plan to leave no stages unrocked as they tour the country and show audiences nationwide that may only know them as Tame One and El Da Sensei what the Artifacts are all about.

Story originally ran in the FairfieldWeekly.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:25 AM  
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