NATTEFROST: Secrets of the Universe (2020)
Updated: Sep 28
“This is a powerful album of Dance Music tied to EDM roots with big hard rhythms and great synth solos”
1 Desire 3:20
2 Calling Cosmos 5:19
3 Energy - Vibration - Frequency 8:27
4 I am... 4:25
5 Into the Subconscious 8:07
6 In Alignment 7:20
7 Receive 4:33
(LP, CD, DDL 41:33) (V.F.)
(Techno, EDM, Chill)
A cosmic wind resolves the deadlock as Nattefrost speaks to us through his vocoder in a heavy ambience of a horror film. Desire progresses with an air of Mark Shreeve. The pace is soft. Despite a certain velocity of the clicks we feel that the bass crawls with difficulty, allowing the synth to sing the trumpets of the armistice which are assisted by dark murmurs. Calling Cosmos walks in its ashes with such a heavy approach and orchestrations that are akin to the melody of Desire. There are stars and tinkles circling all around my listening room when a more lively rhythm structures Calling Cosmos in some kind of ambient EDM. If the percussion tools are superb, the synth is not left out with particularly good lunar solos which slow down the rhythmic vision of the title. A little ambient passage with tears of Vangelis and synthesized voices, and then the duo Observing System & Nattefrost brings us back to this rhythm which flirts with the borders of a Techno for Zombies always coated of great synth solos. A good title which, attached to Desire, offers a nice opening to SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE.
Nattefrost fans have been waiting for this album for a long time. They won't be disappointed by it! In a smudge-free production, available on CD, vinyl and download, Bjorn Jeppesen offers what he does best with an EM drawn to his rocker side in his DJ jacket and dance music. SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE is a solid 40-minute musical project filled with sound experiences that he spreads throughout the 7 tracks. Always favoring the rhythms of the Düsseldorf School, there are many references to Kraftwerk in this album, the Danish musician doesn't hesitate to make use of his Vocoder, nor to disperse the effects of his voice synthesized in an album where the Gothic vision remains unshakable, even on a cosmic and Dance Music level.
Energy - Vibration - Frequency offers energizing music that is in harmony with the meaning of the title. Electronic percussions and bass pulsations support the spasmodic movement of the sequencer. The track goes through two atmospheric phases dominated by fluttering metal wings and other cosmic elements, each time modifying its rhythmic opening which develops into creative Dance Music and overhung by other very good synth solos. The opening of I am.… makes in big Techno with lines of ambient rhythms and stroboscopic which lean on good percussions of the boom-boom genre. The title evolves with a spasmodic approach in an Ambient House à la Moonbooter. The title evolves with a progressive vision linked to tribal-cosmic chants on a Trance hymn. It's an intelligent Techno à la Jean-Michel Jarre with percussive elements which embellish it. The title ends with one of these synthesized speeches that Nattefrost has implanted all over his new album. Into the Subconscious is another EDM title à la Moonbooter. A Chill-Out with arpeggios that are full of stagnant water. This protective wrap surrounds them comfortably in a pocket that emits white radiation when it bursts into the air. The rhythm is curt with tssitt-tssitt and pulsations which are too far ahead of the arpeggios' harmonic portion. Obviously, another line of sequences and/or arpeggios flutter in rotating circles all around this cosmic dance with a voice that seems to constantly challenge us. Not exactly ideal for paranoid people, but the music is viral with many layers of rhythms and moods as well as bits of melody that are too evanescent to get attached to. Also composed with Observing System, In Alignment is a purely Dance Music track, while Receive is designed in the image of Kraftwerk. It looks like a cross between Music Non-Stop, for the hyper technoïd vision of the rhythm, and Tour de France whose gasps of cyclists are heard in superb percussive effects. Obviously, everything goes at a higher speed!
There is no Berlin School in SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE, well maybe a little in the finale of Into the Subconscious, which is a pure EDM album where the scents of Electronica are badly damaged in some phases of the album. Granted, my 62 year old ears worked hard but they had fun. Because as long as listening to Techno, Trance or explosive dance music, I prefer to listen to it with artists like Brainwork, Stefan Erbe, Moonbooter and certainly Nattefrost who at each new album succeeds in his turn of seduction with an explosive title. I am ... should stand out!
Sylvain Lupari (July 27th, 2020) *****
Available at Nattefrost Bandcamp