• Sylvain Lupari

NATTEFROST: Dying Sun / Scarlet Moon (2010)

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

This is a stunning album full of musical twists where everything, except predictability, is there

1 In Natura 4:21

2 Draconian 5:43

3 Music for the Man 5:26

4 Die Kinder der Erde 4:59

5 The Swan 3:39

6 Seduced by Grief 5:41

7 Ghosts from the North 4:23

8 The Dark Spell 5:36

9 Close Encounter 6:06

10 My Wake Up 2:32

Groove GR-172

(CD/DDL 48:25) (V.F.)

(E-Rock, New Berlin School)

The more the career of Bjørn Jeppesen goes forward, the more the Scandinavian synthesist surprises by the diversity of his musical approach. Since his first notes launched with Absorbed In Dreams and Yearing in 2006, we knew that Nattefrost would be an always different character. DYING SUN / SCARLET MOON is an album full of musical twists where everything, except predictability, is there. From techno pop à la Kraftwerk to catchy synth-pop, passing from electronic to Jean-Michel Jarre where long solos and cosmic ambiences are dotted with heavy rhythms, DYING SUN / SCARLET MOON has something for everyone. An album built on 10 tracks stuffed with a disconcerting richness of sound where the ears are constantly assailed by a multiplicity of sounds as heterogeneous as unexpected on structures which catch the ear, which make us tap the foot and which are always in evolutionary mode.

Noisy explosions, where metal rubs against felt, and vocalizations of robotic cherubs open the first measures of In Natura. Already our ears are struggling to capture all the musical energy that pierces this variegated introduction, as well as a whirring sequential line whose chords jump and zigzag among pulsations and vibrations with static resonances. Streaks and strata, both misty and metallic, are flying over this crushed rhythm while nervous keyboard chords draw a melodious line on an ascending sequence which undulates in a very composite electronic universe. In Natura evolves by a fragmented rhythm in a movement of the hesitant sequencer which seems to be frolicking in the void, while percussions surround this rhythm both heavy and light where other sequences parade nervously and push In Natura into a rhythmic contradiction and a amazing musicality for such a short period of time. Navigating between different rhythmic structures, Draconian begins with soft chords with slightly serious tones that resonate and merge with a heavy reverberating sequence whose chords jump randomly. On a hesitant tempo between free jazz and soft techno, Draconian evolves under streaks and waves which fly over a bipolar structure where the rhythms swap between delicacy and heaviness. Music for the Man is an ode to Kraftwerk and Music Non-Stop. The rhythm is heavy, minimalism and vibrates on a good fusion of sequences and electronic percussions. A very good track which is magnetic with fine subtleties in the electronic layers which wave above this very catchy rhythm. Die Kinder der Erde is a heavy title where the sequences gallop under a cloud of synth with multiple layers. A very electronic title full of brief melodies lost under arrhythmic sequences and electronic percussions which weave an imperfect rhythm under very aggressive synth layers and wandering synthesized choirs. Very good and oddly catchy, in line with the good JMJ which seems to have a solid influence for Nattefrost, like in Close Encounter which is on the other hand more complex and progressive.

The Swan is a superb, a completely charming melody that Nattefrost had unveiled on the album Live Germany. Sequences collide violently on a very poetic synth which sings a delicate melody quickly transforming into earworm. After an intro filled by heterogeneous tones, Seduced by Grief is livened up around a circular sequential movement of which the minimalism skipping is leaking away on sober percussions. A hybrid sound universe where the sci-fi goes alongside to a delicate EM covered with suave synth layers and rippling mellotron waves gliding above a furtive light rhythm, Seduced by Grief evolves with an implosion smothered by diverse melodious approaches. All the opposite of Ghosts from the North which presents a frivolous rhythmic on slamming percussions à la Jarre. Swirling and feverish rhythm, Ghosts from the North embraces the paths of a light techno with an ascending rhythm with fluid chords which spin in a rich sound fauna with ill-matched percussions. Heavy, vaporous and strangely ambient, The Dark Spell's intro honors its naming with a surprising mesmerizing structure which takes life on a circular sequential movement. Strummed chords of a pulsating and minimalism movement which slides towards a little more technoïd tangent beneath a charmer synth of which spectral whistles spin under a thick cloud of tones as electronic as crossbred. It's a nice prelude to the very heavy and cosmic Close Encounter whose key point is unarguably this duel of brightness percussions. My Wake up ends with a kind electronic nursery rhyme built on harmless sequences, which roll like a rhythmic carousel, and a hybrid synth where cackling is wrapped of suave melodious layers. It's a track as strange as crazy that fits so well to this very multi-colors and multi-sound universe which is DYING SUN / SCARLET MOON.

Sylvain Lupari (February 9th, 2011) ***½**


Available et Groove nl

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