Saturday 3 February 2024

Artifacts & Uranium with Mitsuru Tabata. - Phase IV (Album Review)

Release Date: 02nd February 2024. Record Label: Riot Season Records / Echodelick Records. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Phase IV - Tracklisting

Yateveo (4:44)

Life In The Air Raid (3:56)

The Mind Alchemist (8:00)

Kinetic Flux (6:33)

My Dark Places (7:44)

Phase IV (5:42)


Fred Laird (Empty House, Earthling Society)

Mike Vest (Bong, Drunk In Hell, Mienakunaru, Modoki, Tomoyuki Trio)

Nick Raybould (Thought Bubble, Shankara)

Mitsuru Tabata (Zeni Geva, Leningrad Blues Machine, Boredoms, Modoki, 20 Guilders, Green Flames, Acid Mothers Temple)


Psych Rock Collective ARTIFACTS & URANIUM return with their new album Phase IV which sees original members Mike Vest and Fred Laird teaming up with Nick Raybould and legendary musician Mitsuru Tabata from Japan. This project is now called Artifacts & Uranium with Mitsuru Tabata.

Phase IV sees Artifacts & Uranium delivering tracks that are more concise, shorter, sharper and have a clearer structure compared to their last album. The record still has it’s subtle Experimental edge with harsh levels of Psychedelic heaviness but this time the album is fused with moments of Garage Rock, Stoner Rock, Doom Rock, Noise Rock and mind-exploding Sludgy grooves.

The album bursts onto the scene with an off kilter KrautRock energy which perhaps comes more vital when the aggressive fast-paced grooves appear on tracks such as Yateveo, Life In The Air Raid and The Mind Alchemist.

The element of screeching guitars and fast-paced Psychedelic Neo-Psychedelic beats allows Artifacts & Uranium to explore a different style of Garage Rock with sublime extended instrumental jams with the band adding moments of Progressive Jazz Rock interludes. The whole sound is FREAKY and should come with a GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING to advise of diverse HALLUCINOGENIC EFFECTS especially on the following tracks: The Mind Alchemist, Kinetic Flux and My Dark Places.

Phase IV also has a SURREAL and ABSTRACT creative vision which is what I expect with the highly talented musicians involved with this musical project. The band even find the time to venture into Post-Rock aesthetics on the later stages of the album which gives this record a more organic and emotional feel before they add levels of distorted Psychedelic heaviness just for the sheer hell of it.

You'll be surprised by the high amount of epic guitar solos and extended instrumental jams that appear on the album which does have a different feel and sound compared to previous records that Artifacts & Uranium have delivered previously. This allows Artifacts & Uranium with Mitsuru Tabata to deliver another highly satisfying and superbly heavy record that explores the catchiest and most experimental slice of modern day Psych Rock that you don’t experience that often. 

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe 

You can buy Phase IV on Vinyl now via Riot Season Records and Echodelick Records