Recorded from Januari - December 2005 at Nattefrost Studio, Copenhagen, Denmark and some parts also in Nattefrost Mobile Studio in Odense, Denmark and Munster, Germany|
- The Battle that lasted Eternally [9:41]
- Where the Gods are Watching [4:03]
- Through Clear and Frosty Nights [11:09]
- Visions of a Pale Moon [3:46]
- Valhal [11:28]
- Descending from the Stars [3:39]
- Absorbed in Dreams and Yearning [9:56]
- The Northern Lights [5:12]
All tracks composed, performed and produced by Bjorn Jeppesen
Bjorn Jeppesen - synthesizer and various electronic equipment, vocals on track 5 & 8
Ute Stemmann - vocals on track 4
Nattefrost is a project by Danish musician Bjørn Jeppesen. "Absorbed In Dreams And Yearning" is his second solo-album and his first for Groove Unlimited. On this record, Jeppesen cleverly mixes influences from the Berlin School with ambient sounds that have a certain "Scandinavian" feeling.
Jeppesen’s music is based on nice and quite easily accessible sequencer lines that frame his music.
The first track "The Battle That Lasted Eternally" already clearly shows his capabilities with a fine and soft sequencer track. The album has some long tracks (well, if eleven minutes is "long" in electronic music!), as well as a number of short pieces.
"Through Clear And Frosty Nights" and the title track are Bjørn’s most retro-sounding compositions on the album with great sequencer patterns and soloing. The melody at the end of the title track is great.
In "Valhal" the mix between Berlin School and ambient can be heard well. But, as is the fact on the whole of the album, the accessibility stays in tact and this combination is nicely done.
Nattefrost is a name that has to be kept in sight. And maybe Jeppesen has invented a new style of electronic music: the Scandinavian School perhaps?
2006. Press Information
Looking at the track names and sleeve you'd be forgiven for expecting real ambient music here. So, imagine my surprise as I played the disc and was greeted by a fusion of ambient, contemporary chill-out and the good old Berlin 'schule'!
Battle sounds (including horse neighs!) are heard briefly before a classic mid-register sequence builds. This is 'The battle that lasted eternally'. A languid, loping bass-line joins the mix as do various effects and a subtle pad. A rather ghostly melody is added, supported by snatches of 'tron. Hi-hats build and add another layer to this trance-like construction, to be followed by tom toms. The track then loops really, with some elements of the mix dropping out from time to time. I was a little un-engaged by it I must say, although it was well done.
A looping arpeggio and bass drones signal the start of 'Where the gods are watching'. Very analogue-like pads rise and squelch wondrously. A pair of melodies, one quite foreboding, play question and answer for a while until a rhythmic build at the 2 minute mark. Heavenly pads are nicely played against the slightly dark main melody, and suddenly the track has found its heart - I liked this one.
A bass, Berlin-like sequence and faltering arpeggio open 'Through clear and frosty nights'. Symphonic pads and a simple but evocative melody are added. Key changes keep the harmonic interest high. A very Mario Schonwalder type jazzy solo flies through the mix. I began to feel at this point that Bjorn Jeppesen (the man behind Natterfrost) had found his feet – what a great track. 'Oxygene' era Jarre rhythms are slotted into the mix and the track is complete.
A ring-modulated sequence heralds 'Visions of a pale moon'. A hollow pad hovers in the background and is soon joined by a menacing bass line. Heavily treated vocals and further arpeggios are added to create a very contemporary track, this one really belonged on a DiN CD – so I obviously loved it!
Abstract and very evil sounding effects create a dark atmosphere, we are in 'Valhal'! Heavenly pads begin to redress the dark feelings however, alongside a simple melody. At the 1.45 minute mark we enter a brief abstract section before a pair of sequences build – one bass laden and the other mid-register. Pads rise and fall as the sequences are manipulated. Just before the 7 minute mark we enter another abstract section before a new sequence – this one absolutely in the Berlin mode – emerges along with treated vocal samples. A piano-like melody plays around the sequence, and pads rise behind it. This end section was superb, but I felt that the rest of the track moved around too much.
From an icy wind a cracking sequence emerges, full of energy and constantly morphing - 'Descending from the stars' is here. A bass sequence and simple beat box percussion are rapidly deployed. Simple pads complete the frame before a synthpop - like melody (simple and repetitive but infectious) makes its presence felt. A simple, but great track. 'Absorbed in Dreams and Yearning' opens with bouncing arpeggios and abstract effects. Symphonic pads build. A great solo/melody is added next – it's heartfelt and soaring. I'd like to hear more of this from Jeppesen, as it makes his tracks really come to life.
'The northern lights' rounds off the set. A rumbling sequence moves into the soundfiled, bells toll in the background: this is atmospheric stuff. A sparse, bright melody picks its way through the backing. Symphonic elements are added but the track is restrained, the atmosphere maintained. This is a fine track.
I think that Nattefrost is a name to watch. When Jeppesen lets himself go, as he does on three tracks here, the music really flies free. A couple of the tracks lacked a heart I felt, but all were high quality. I think the CD deserves to be heard, but I think that his best is yet to come.
I've already got two Nattefrost releases, but when I first held Absorbed in dreams and yearning in my hands, I could see that it was radically different from the previous releases. Absorbed had been professionally produced which could be seen in both artwork and print, really nice and something that suits the music.
Nattefrost is ambient music, however I believe this new album to be less ambient than the others. For example the track Visions of a pale moon really stands out. Also the increased use of drum machine and vocals makes this album appear more mature than previous Nattefrost music. I know that Nattefrost has used drum machines before, but on this album it has been done very gently, ie.it doesn't disturb the music in any way.
These improvements to the music show that Nattefrost evolves musically, and already now I'm looking forward to a next release. But let's enjoy this one first, we wouldn't want Nattefrost to rush as that wouldn't be any good to the music.
The first track on the album, The Battle that lasted eternally, is a long one and I think it's a shame it's been placed as the initial track. Although it's a nice track, it doesn't change much during the almost ten minutes. There is a slight increase of intensity towards the end however. The melody is great but it tends to become suppressed by the lack of variation as the track progresses. It would have suited the album better to have placed it later.
The melody parts are more visible in Where the gods are watching than in The Battle that lasted eternally, something I prefer. I quite like the drum machine which comes to life in the middle of the track. It makes the second half more upbeat, giving a track really worth listening to.
Through clear and frosty nights is another long track, but it's diversity and choices of sounds (and a great drum machine) makes this track a lot more interesting than The battle that lasted eternally. It's got great melody parts, very well played and the end is very light and sweet, something rather unusual for Nattefrost, but nevertheless great to hear.
Visions of a pale moon presents some of the most radical changes in Nattefrost's music. It is so much different from anything else by Nattefrost, very refreshing and one of the best tracks on the album. This track also introduces a more sophisticated use of vocals.
Valhal is the longest track on the album and perhaps also the best of the long tracks. It's got great diversity and changes of mood, and it's another track in which Nattefrost dares to use vocals, however very sparse. The vocals suit the track.
Descending from the stars is a nice and short track which is placed very cleverly between two very long ones. It's quite light with a good melody, and the major part of the track has a nice tempo. Only the first and last short parts are more slow and atmospheric.
The title track, Absorbed in dreams and yearning, is perhaps the most ambient. What gives this track atmosphere is the melody which is played with a very vintage sound. The mixture of vintage and new sounds is not unique, but on this track I think they really complement each other.
The northern lights is also very atmospheric and with the use of gentle vocals. Not much happens during the track but this doesn't make it any worse as there are slight changes along the way. It's been placed as the last track on the album, something I can only agree with. It works tremendously well as an album outro.
Being the perhaps best Nattefrost album to date, there is no reason for not getting hold of the older ones. They all represent good music, and it's nice to hear how the music of Nattefrost has evolved over the years.
It's not possible in words to describe how the music sounds, so if you haven't already bought this album, I suggest you do it now because it's a real pleasure to listen to.
2006. Lars Grill Nielsen / Denmark
Straight from Denmark, here is a new comer in EM, Berlin School style. Well, in a way. Absorbed in Dreams and Yearning is Scandinavian Bjorn Jeppesen second opus, and this one crosses the borders of Denmark. According to the press guide, this cd is full of new sonorities. An innovative work that might bring a new electronic mode, the Scandinavian School. A statement that hook the immediate fans attention. Let’s see what it turns out to be.
The Battle that lasted Eternally starts with noises from an old gladiators fight and horses neighs. An opening track which inspires a harmonious rhythm on a fat nervous loopy sequencing line, crossed by well structured sounds effects. The synth is light and discreetly blows a suave melody which is twisted by raising the octaves. A beautiful harmonious opening which leaves his sonorous prints.
Where the Gods are Watching is a short nervous title witch recall the analog moves of Jean Michel Jarre on Magnetic Fields. Another heavy sequence line that rock on a sharp synth with conflict harmonies. A small kicker.
It’s when we are listening Through Clear and Frosty Nights that we catch the Nattefrost syndrome. This is a long track that sails on a low and faint sequential line with the with lots of analog atmospheric effects. This title caps the genius of an intense heaviness which is dandled on chords from a bass minimalist loop line. The synthesizer lulls us with clear notes melodies, digging an unreal harmonic contrast. The tempo is deviating and borrows various harmonious faces of which one seems curiously familiar when e have the impression to hear the lines of famous the hit Pop Corn, but played in an awkward way, as with back. The effect hangs immediately.
Visions of a Pale Moon borrows the lugubrious feelings of Through Clear and Frosty Nights but with a more released and clearer rhythm. Always dawdling, the tempo varies its beats on its own chords.
Valhal is the big title on Absorbed in Dreams and Yearning. A big heavy dark line emerges from a static intro. The rhythm is heavy and is dandled on a good percussion, clashes of choked cymbals and a beautiful hooking harmonious synth line. Synthesizers are rich in mellotron and embrace an atmospheric texture which is stretched until a more ventilated line points. At that point Bjorn Jeppesen recites an ode which finds echo on a celestial wind.
Descending from the Stars is another short kicker in a Jarre style. The kind of track we find to short.
Absorbed in Dreams and Yearning takes shape on a bass sequential nervous line, while the synth moves on a more atmospheric way. This strange symbiosis gives an obsessing rhythm, because we don't know what leads what. The atmosphere is still bordering with the similar incantations on the first works of electronic music. A strange title, wrapped well with quite particular sound dimensions.
The Northern Lights closes this last opus on a very atmospheric mood. The line is travelling and runs on harmonious chords, which form a soft melody between dreams and yearnings.
2006. Sylvain Lupari / Canada
In contrast, making his debut is Nattefrost (Bjorn Jeppeson) with the intriguingly-titled "Absorbed In Dreams And Yearning" (GR-129) & this is not a bad album at all.
The sounds of battle that open the album fit in with many of the equally intriguing track titles & while they would have been just as much at home on some grand prog rock concept album it does mean that at least some thought was put into the album, a strong point that the music also benefits from, even if the sequential backings are, on the whole, derivative of most EM musos.
The short "Visions Of A Pale Moon" builds up a nice air of mystery & although "Through Clear & Frosty Nights" has a pretty good ending that’s actually totally removed from its earlier sections (which are nothing special) it’s a pity it takes so long to get there.
"Valhal" is definitely a track f two halves, the first being a totally inappropriate rhythmic section that’s almost light-hearted & quirky so it’s best just to skip to the second which has a much more appropriate majestic mood with some spoken vocals & a nice main theme.
More voice effects crop up on another mysterious offering, the closing "The Northern Lights" where more voice effects add to the atmosphere quite nicely.
Carl Jenkinson / Sequences
This release from 2006 offers 59 minutes of pleasant electronic music.
Nattefrost is: Bjorn Jeppesen, with vocalist Ute Stemmann on one track.
Languid textures provide a seething backdrop for more energetic electronics that flow with liquid character in a fashion that is very rewarding. Keyboards generate pulsating riffs which spin and swoop amidst auxiliary harmonics. The tones are crystalline and crisp, with a suitable undercurrent tinged with a hint of gritty bass, establishing a lush range for the dramatic compositions.
E-perc is present, but used to accent rather than to drive the melodies. The core of each piece rests in the vibrant electronics which throb with lively energy. Cyclic patterns unfurl with a constant evolution, subtly maturing as each tune progresses, producing complexity that is never over-dense. Ricocheting notes create a blurred fog of glittering quality that serves as a superb milieu for the front melodies.
The style of compositions is often relaxed, infused with a delicate trace of dynamics that remains craftily evident. One can sense the power yearning to burst free, but the musician keeps this tendency under meticulous control.
Still, several tracks display an enthusiastic vigor with bouncy melodies and nattering rhythms.
Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
Altra one man band nordeuropea: Nattefrost viene dalla Danimarca ed è il progetto di Bjorn Jeppesen, scuola berlinese dal timbro melodico e suadente, benchè ripetitivo. In Absorbed In Dreams And Yearning (2006) l'autore condensa in brani di breve durata le sue ispirazioni elettroniche, con buoni risultati pittorici e descrittivi.
Donato Zoppo / MovimentiProg
This is an attractive work, mainly because of the amount of concepts that the artist includes in his sonic and musical palette. The whole album has a strong Space style, not only due to the use of synthesizers, but also because of the structure of the compositions itself. The melodies usually are warm, lively, in an atmosphere typical of a soundtrack for an adventure movie. The complex and impressive rhythms are sequencer-based mostly. A great amount of imagination pervades the entire album.
Bjorn Jeppesen is Nattefrost, and this marks his debut CD on the Groove label.
After some electronic twitters, a thumping steady beat and catchy bass line get this one moving. It’s a fantastic groove, and it rides it for a solid 10-minute opener. The tones are warm, the melody enjoyable; it’s a complete package.
Track two was featured on E-Dition CD sampler #6, a bright and bouncy number, again effectively using a strong backing of bass and beats to carry along the playful electronics. The upbeat style continues as the third track gently, brightly propels itself forward. Though shades of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and other Berlin school elements are there, Nattefrost manages to instill his own musical touch. I particularly like the optimistic nature of the music throughout. Bright clicking echoes of percussion on "Visions of a pale moon" bring to mind TD’s "Through Metamorphic Rocks," though the surrounding elements are quite different. Computerized robotic electronic sounds and hidden female vocal samples lend an added cool factor.
The warm synth pads and playful melody on "Valhal" remind me of latter day Tangerine Dream and Edgar Froese efforts, though the end result is more to my liking here. After some deep space solar winds in the middle, the music resumes in a lower key with a more dramatic flair, a fun unexpected twist.
Buoyant melody and rhythm returns in abundance on the decidedly pop sounding "Descending from the stars" – loads of fun this one. For that matter, so is the rest of this strong offering from Nattefrost.
Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Jusqu’à présent, Nattefrost faisait surtout référence au frontman de Carpathian Forest, qui n’officie pas vraiment dans le genre qui nous occupe. Nattefrost est également le vocable que le Danois Bjørn Jeppesen a choisi en 1995 pour se lancer dans l’aventure de l’e-music.
Absorbed… est seulement son deuxième véritable album, après beaucoup de démos, de K7 et un premier CD sorti il y 2 ans. On ne peut pas dire que Jeppesen réinvente la poudre. Au contraire, il marche dans la voie tracée par Tangerine Dream et consorts, plus précisément les albums Exit et White Eagle. Mais il a bien appris ses leçons et son travail est d’une excellente facture. Les lignes mélodiques sont très agréables à suivre et les 8 morceaux qui composent l’album permettent de passer une heure bien agréable, dans une ambiance soft et détendue.
LouLou / Prog-résiste