Artisan Loyalist
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Artisan Loyalist

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Electronic Dream Pop

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The solo moniker of Canada’s Rob Batke (of indie-rockers Faunts), the electronic artist has a penchant for dense reverb and ’80s influenced synth sounds that often seem cinematic. The vocals are generally quiet, as are the guitars, but the melodies are giant as Batke brings to mind The Smiths or New Order with a very firm modern day indie-tronica feeling where dance beats and video game noises won’t go unnoticed.

4/5 Stars - New Noise Magazine


Artisan Loyalist, the solo pursuit of Edmonton multi-instrumentalist Rob Batke, premiered the first single and title track of their upcoming album Lonely Ghost set to release on February 24. The six-minute track was featured on American Apparel’s Viva Radio and offers a taste of Artisan Loyalist’s fundamental style—an effortless combination of synth wave textures, melodic vocals, and experimental beats.
A unique homage to 1980’s synth pop with modern day textures, Lonely Ghost delivers on the emotions built up through Rob Batke’s prior solo pursuits. The music evoke the failure, sadness, isolation, and ultimate triumph. Lonely Ghost is likely to resonate deeply when all the fans eagerly awaiting its arrival in February 2015.
In October 2014, Artisan Loyalist set the stage for the release of Lonely Ghost with their first four-song EP, The Ace. The EP featured two tracks from their upcoming full-length album that stirred up a great deal of curiosity among fans. It offered a preview of emotional intensity that can be expected on Artisan Loyalist’s upcoming full-length album. - Vents Magazine


Come to think of it, Artisan Loyalist’s synth-pop debut is very much a beach-flavoured album, too. Sun-kissed ‘80s synths, reverb-drenched melodies, hushed vocals, and danceable beats bob along with each other on Lonely Ghost, a svelte and sentimental nine-track collection by this Edmonton musician, legally known as Robert Ryan Batke (of indie-rock act Faunts). “Stay here alone or move along?” he wonders on Silica, which mixes wafts of sombre synths with laser-like pulses perfect for one of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi films. “You are not forgotten,” Batke chants on Rainsong, as a soft drizzle of claps, and sax-like hums makes way to a downpour of guitar jangles and eerie Sting-like moans. Like a lonely ghost, these tunes will pace the hallways of your bones for years to come. - Edmonton Journal


“‘Chamelon’ is just a made up word — I liked how it sounded phonetically, and came up with a phrasing and meter that seemed to work,” Rob Batke of Artisan Loyalist explains of his new track’s distinctive title. The track, a dusky, babbling brook of liquid synths was the last song the Edmonton based artist, and former member of the like-minded Faunts, recorded for his record Lonely Ghost, he says. “It allowed me to take a few liberties in the recording process since I felt I had covered a lot of ground with the rest of the record.”
We asked Batke to walk us through the track’s composition and equipment.
“I was going for a Gary Numan feel with the soaring lead synth on my Yamaha CS-60, and one of my studio-mates thought the guitars had a Roxette vibe à la ‘She’s Got The Look.'” (Very good call dude).
“I recorded them direct (without the use of a guitar amplifier) to try and maintain a glassy guitar tone. The gritty arpeggiated synth part was double tracked–once through my Korg MS-20, and once through my DSI Prophet ’08. After the second verse, I cranked the resonance on the Prophet and played the filter for a binary solo of random blips and bleeps.” - Bullett Media


…Artisan Loyalist, O, Chamelon: (No, NOT chameleon.) Chiming guitars and squelching synths dance together like a pair of expressionless goth-popsters. - Edmonton Journal


As a sampler that offers up a taste of what you can expect from Artisan Loyalist’s upcoming LP, Lonely Ghost, set to release February 2015, the band is dropping The Ace, a four-track EP that does its job in whipping up curiosity for the full-length record. Rob Batke, the man behind Artisan Loyalist, is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Edmonton who is commonly known for his work with Faunts, a shoegaze project that enjoyed some touring and song placement success back in 2006 and 2009. During this time, Batke continued to work on electronic tracks that would inspire him to embark on a solo project for himself as Artisan Loyalist.
Batke unleashes his inner synth vibrations with “The Ace” and “O, Chamelon.” “O, Chamelon” is one of the last songs recorded for Lonely Ghost, and its sonorous use of synths as well as its arresting guitar notes with strings that sound as if they were made of titanium make it an instant hit. Even the remix of “O, Chamelon” by the Edmonton-based producer Khotin makes just as big of an impact. A different take, Khotin immerses the track in warm house with breakbeat thrown in. “The Ace” meanwhile is an ambient song that eschews emotional intensity for temperance. Fellow label mate T.H. White’s version of “The Ace” strips Batke’s vocals away for an instrumental number that brings out the lasers to play. - Quip Magazine


Cheekily, on the Facebook page for the Edmonton, Alberta-based synth-pop project Artisan Loyalist (helmed by Rob Batke), the genre designation reads “Post-Yoga”. Given the seemingly endless parade of genre splintering that is happening at the moment, it’s not a stretch to imagine that such a thing exists. However, on The Ace EP, the latest collection of tunes from Artisan Loyalist, the music definitely doesn’t sound like it’s meant to take you to a zen place. From the sitar-esque lead riff to “O, Chamelon” to the propulsive beat of “O, Chamelon (Khotin remix)”, The Ace EP is definitely something to get the feet moving. - PopMatters


Rob Batke of aura rockers The Faunts is out on an astral limb with his ambient solo project, Artisan Loyalist. We have before us a glowing titan of atmospheric euphorics. This is not the dark sandpaper ambiance jam you’ve gotten all too used to from the experimental set; this is a glimmering light, the kind that blushes through your eyelids when you close them and stare at the sun. This four track ascension is framed in the terms of a St. Bonaventure-esque journey into the mind of God: Awakening, Redeeming, Prevailing, Revealing, each valorized by that notorious definite article: The. Fans of Helios or the earlier more inward journeys of M83 will find comfort in Batke’s compositions. I would go as far as to say that You’re Glory is the lost soundtrack to a Terence Malick prayer journal. It is all rather intoxicating. Please bask responsibly… - Argue Job


Discography

Lonely Ghost (February 24, 2015: Sky Council Recordings)
1. Silica
2. Light Trail
3. Campaign
4. O, Chamelon
5. Lonely Ghost
6. Gestalt
7. The Back of Your Hand
8. Rainsong
9. The Ace

You're Glory (July 30, 2013: Independent)
1. The Awakening
2. The Redeeming
3. The Prevailing
4. The Revealing









Photos

Bio

Edmonton-based multi instrumentalist and producer (and former member of Faunts) Rob Batke is back with his new project, Artisan Loyalist. His debut full length, Lonely Ghost, is a lush and rippling wave of beats and melodic vocals. A unique homage to 80’s synth pop with modern-day touches, Lonely Ghost is an expansive and beautiful tour of grooves, synth waves and dreamy pop melodies evoking the electronic textures of M83, the expressive guitar playing of Johnny Marr, and the 80s work of Peter Gabriel or Cliff Richard.

Rob first joined his brothers Tim and Steven Batke in the seminal Canadian shoegaze band Faunts in 2006, entering the fray just in time for the band’s break-through EP, M4. After extensive shows (and a notable song placement in the multimillion-selling video game Mass Effect, giving the band overnight fame in the video gaming community), Faunts followed up in 2009 with the widely-praised LP Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. More touring in Canada and the United States ensued, and the band also acquired song placements in television and video games (Batke’s song, “Das Malefitz”, appeared on MTV’s The Real World, BBC’s Waterloo Road, and also in the end credits of the multi-million selling video game, Mass Effect 3). Batke’s time with Faunts make him no stranger to the independent music scene both at home and abroad.

During this time, while quietly honing his own skills as a solo electronic producer, Batke amassed a selection of tracks that were ultimately to become his solo debut. During breaks from Faunts, Rob played a handful of shows under his new moniker, Artisan Loyalist. The experience and audience response was overwhelmingly positive and further empowered him to keep writing.

After Faunts decided to take a break from their intense touring and recording schedule in 2011, Batke decided to branch out on his own and remix other artists. Artisan Loyalist’s remix of “The Window” takes a driving post-punk song from Malmo, Sweden’s MF/MB, and reworks it to the point that it would fit nicely on a soundtrack to a John Hughes film. Batke also remixed the Danish band Treefight for Sunlight’s summer sing-along, “Facing the Sun.”

In 2012, the unimaginable happened when Batke’s laptop, which contained a wealth of recorded material, was destroyed. After a brief period of devastation, Rob took his feelings of loss and turned them into a period of musical rebirth. Allowing fresh influences both musical and personal to enter his creative process, Batke entered a pivotal and productive writing journey. Exploring ambient tones and textures, Batke emerged with the EP, You’re Glory (whose lead track, “The Awakening”, was featured in the film “Things I Cannot Tell”).

With pistons now clicking, Batke entered the studio to finally complete the full length he had been envisioning for years. Lonely Ghost is likely to resonate deeply with fans eagerly awaiting its arrival. First up will be The Ace EP , a four song offering of two songs from Lonely Ghost accompanied by remixes by label mate T.H. White and fellow Edmonton artist Khotin. The Ace EP lands in stores on October 21, 2014 just in time for Artisan Loyalist to debut the new material live as an official CMJ featured artist.

Band Members