NATTEFROST: Underneath the Nightsky (2007)
Updated: Apr 15
“Its cosmic dances and electronic rocks amaze and surround a listening room with a rhythmic vision that is both intense and subtly melodious”
1 Translogical Movements 9:14
2 Searching for a Distant Planet 4:31
3 Underneath the Nightsky 5:02
4 Observing Emotions 9:17
5 Winterland 7:03
6 A Different View on Jupiter 6:18
7 Intergalactic Journey 4:59
8 The Pleasure of Tranquility 5:58
9 The Magic of Forgotten Times 6:04
(CD 58:04) (V.F.)
The sound of waves and the distant spectral choirs introduce a Scandinavian poem, recited by the sweet voice of Ute Stemmann, opening the way for Translogical Movements. A movement of the sequencer with metallic clicks intersects its lines on the echo of fine beatings, giving an undulating rhythm to which is added a nasal synth with the sounds of rusty bagpipes. In parallel, the synth follows the path of the sequencer in an analog universe recalling the atmospheres of the 70's. The modulations are beautiful and fluid. They form a rhythm which gets more agitated by the impulses in loops from the synthesizer on a good harmonious theme. Bjorn Jeppesen is making a big turn on his 2nd album of Nattefrost. Abandoning its mythical nebulous sound, he splits up the moods with a more aggressive sound and offers a solid album, its second on Groove and its 7th since Når månen er fuld in 1996, where the harmonies get combined with powerful rhythms.
Searching For a Distant Planet, Underneath the Nightsky and Intergalactic Journey concretize this new approach with slightly jerky sequences which are weaving of nervous rhythms supported by beautiful structures of bass and percussions well in tones. The sounds of the synth solos are more direct and are transformed into nice melodious themes with very cosmic sound effects. But Nattefrost's main strength remains when he exploits longer titles, giving free rein to his Gregorian thought and his Scandinavian legends, like on Observing Emotions. A superb track with a quick denouement where the static rhythms immediately occupy the first moments with a minimalist approach of the sequencer and its undulating rhythms. The metallic percussion's tones give an exquisite depth to a track that swirls on its axis, letting a haunting tempo nibble on our vision. Discreet choirs, Orion winds, synth with absent airs on its hypnotic loops; our brain is invaded by a melting melody resulting from a haunting bass which gives way to a sequence with chords frolicking on the reverberant and enveloping waves.
This motionless rhythm gives way to the fast sequences of Winterland. An intense flow with a synth which throws beautiful curly solos supported by Phil Molto, better known as Robert Schroeder, on guitar. A Different View on Jupiter offers an indecisive tempo with a hopping structure in a kind of light groove that is similar to the light essences of the synth. The Pleasure of Tranquility is a very beautiful space ballad powered by a good synth with nasal breaths and supported by the spheroidal movement of the sequencer. The ambiences are vaporous and muffled by good waves of cymbals which drift on its rhythm a bit more poetic than catchy. A sequencer deploys its nervous and jerky beat at the opening of The Magic of Forgotten Times. Its fine curls are spinning and spinning. Invasive, they radiate of sound effects on this soft rhythm with floating ripples. A subtle modulation brings the rhythm to another level where the synth is more austere. The sequencer swirls its pace in a vision of intergalactic war march which ends on a mini solo of vaporous percussions. Like a watcher, the synth runs around with a sneaky approach, putting the sequencer back on its original track. A very good title which spreads its charm throughout its 6 minutes.
Nattefrost succeeds in reinventing itself with an album which is not really far from the charms of Absorbed in Dreams and Yearning without being intimately linked. Well-crafted, and above all very melodious, UNDERNEATH THE NIGHTSKY still offers rhythms, which are better heard here , linked to a creative sequencer and its boiling whirlwinds. Its cosmic dances and electronic rocks amaze and surround a listening room with a perpetual rhythmic rotation that is both intense and subtly melodious.
Sylvain Lupari (May 8th, 2007) *****
Available at Groove