Artifakts is the fairly new production duo of Garret Meyer and William Thompson. The South Carolina/Wisconsin pair have teamed up to make their own brand of instrumental hip hop, which they have delivered on their debut album, Like This If.

Artifakts don’t present a radical departure from what we’re hearing today from most instrumental hip hop artists, but that isn’t to say the quality isn’t quite high. Their music is very well developed, fleshing out themes and melodies in interesting ways, all with a very good sense of overall atmosphere and groove. The album stays down tempo, but they manage to mix things up in some interesting ways. On the opening track, “Out of Sight,” they wander into more a DJ Shadow/trip hop territory, where psychedelic sounds play against a gentle saxophone sample and laid back beat. This leads into “Pushin’ On,” which is much more of a classic boom bap sound, with a really strong drum presence, along with a flute loop and soul vocals providing a hook. “Ax About Me” is the most aggressive track on the album, bringing in some dubstep and mixing it with some G-Funk, which I’d probably enjoy more if I wasn’t so sick of dubstep these days. The dubstep really only gets in the way on “Lost and Found,” which I feel disrupts what was otherwise very sexy beat. They also manage to bring in some shoe gaze and mix it with some glitch/electronic production on the closing track, “Light Brite-Nite,” which makes for a really pleasant ending. The album comes together well and makes for a very enjoyable listen, most optimally enjoyed on your headphones on a cloudy day.

My personal feelings about their dalliances with dubstep aside, Artifakts present a strong debut. It didn’t blow me away upon first listen, but it did create enough intrigue that I came back to it and found that more and more of it grew on me as the album unfolded. They have a really good sense of song development, and I feel like they’re only going to get stronger from here.