NATTEFROST: Tracks From the Archives (2009)
Updated: Sep 28
“A good collection of boiling tracks in a down tempo and electro-pop styles that befits perfectly to the hybrid universe of Björn Jeppesen”
1 The Magic of Forgotten Times 5:53
2 Einkaufen 3:42
3 Nightfall 5:02
4 Vejen til Asgård 4:13
5 Valhal (demo version) 5:56
6 Technological Revenge 3:57
7 Underneath Another Nightsky 7:22
8 Norrøn 9:06
9 Hjertestop 4:24
10 Transformation 5:08
11 Decadence 5:10
12 Searching for a Distant Planet 4:41
13 Descending from the Stars 2:24
(CD/DDL 67:22) (V.F.)
(Cosmic Rock, Synth-Pop, Synth-Rock)
Leftovers?! Let's be honest. When you see an album with archives, you immediately think of a compilation full of leftovers. More or less interesting titles that may appeal to true fans of the artist concerned. Well, that's not the case with TRACKS FROM THE ARCHIVES by the Danish synthesist Björn Jeppesen. Composed of unreleased tracks, remixed tracks and live recordings, this compilation shows us a new face of Nattefrost. Boiling tracks which embrace heavy structures and animated by languid and sensual rhythms in a down tempo and electro-pop styles which befits perfectly to the hybrid universe of Björn Jeppesen.
The Magic of Forgotten Times kicks off this compilation with a bang. A heavy and lively title that we find on Vejen til Asgård, produced in 2004, under the title The Magic of the Burial Mound. It's an ideal introduction to a compilation of tracks constantly torn between Nattefrost's electro-pop and Berlin School. Heavy and resonant sequences make stamp their tonal bits in an echo broth. They skip awkwardly on the end of their notes, clearing its way through a synth with smooth layers which caress this boiling intro of its dreamy layers. The movement gets lost under cosmic streaks to come up against percussions which heavily hammer an ambient universe, while limpid sequences stagger under spectral streaks. Composed in 2005 with the help of Tony Andersen, Einkaufen is light and steeped in an atmosphere of down tempo with its electronic percussions which are linked to a vocoder, giving an impression of anguish and neurotic gasps. A soft jazzed piano escapes from it. Its notes accompany a creeping bass line before deviating on a rhythm weighed down by good percussion strikes and a synth as vaporous as ethereal, plunging Einkaufen towards a brief ambient passage before it resumes its hammering rhythmic race. Written in 1999, Nightfall offers a mystical intro before melting on a syncretic rhythm with synthesized layers which envelop a hybrid structure. The rhythm is constantly enveloped in suffocating layers and dismal sound effects that make Nightfall feel like knocking on Neptune's doors. A good title specific to the musical universe of Nattefrost just like the other new title on TRACKS FROM THE ARCHIVES; Technological Revenge. A short title that begins as if we were at the gates of darkness. The synth is dark and deploys a multitude of mixed layers which veil the twisted solos to roll in a loop on a sequential movement hemming in a synthesized jungle.
Remixed by Carsten Ji, Vejen til Asgård retains its mystical and very electronic cachet on a down tempo structure. This is very good, just like Norrøn which is another remix of Carsten Ji who this time develops a more cosmic rock approach with heavy guitars. The Valhal demo gives an overview of the evolution of the title. Even if several sound elements are missing, the melody that emerges is still attractive while the permutation of the tempo is like a demo. Even with a less dark approach, the new version of Underneath Another Nightsky is still just as crisp, although I prefer the original. Hjertestop is a remix by Nattefrost, this time, of a song performed by an icon of Danish music; Alouise. On a light pop, we feel the heavy sequences full of restraints, of the Valhal style. Remixed by Dennis Dithmar, Transformation flows like a real Kraftwerk with its frenetic rhythm on resonant sequences and very robotic percussions. The Live section presents titles that we know from Nattefrost and which were recorded in two different locations. If the sound of Decadence and Searching for a Distant Planet seems anemic, Descending from the Stars has a better joie-de-vivre.
Apart from the Live section which seems weak to me, TRACKS FROM THE ARCHIVES is an astonishing compilation of Nattefrost's musical universe. A universe revised and corrected with boiling and ingenious remixes which bring a new dimension to the music of Björn Jeppesen, who quietly abandons the oneiric sweetness of the Berlin School to bite into more ferocious and juicy rhythms. It's a nice surprise with nice juicy leftovers ...
Sylvain Lupari (November 1st, 2010) ***¾**
Available at Nattefrost Bandcamp