All tracks composed by Bjorn Jeppesen except for Kopenhaachen & Perfectly Connected wich were composed by Robert Schroeder-Trebor and Bjorn Jeppesen|
Live at the Ambient Experience II, Rex Theater, Wuppertal, Germany 3rd May 2008
- Valhal (Part 1 & 2) [3:43]
- Searching for a distant planet [4:35]
- Kopenhaachen [6:50]
With Robert Schroeder
- Perfectly connected [6:00]
With Robert Schroeder
Live at the Electronic Circus, Movie, Bielefeld, Germany 12th September 2009
- Intro [0:43]
- Decadence [5:14]
- The Swan [3:50]
- The pleasure of tranquillity [6:06]
- Descending from the stars [2:23]
- Draconian [5:07]
- Winterland [4:01]
- Nightfall [4:50]
- Kopenhaachen [6:08]
- A new direction [5:24]
The Swan was composed by Charles-Camille Saint-Saens
Nattefrost is Bjorn Jeppesen
Bjorn Jeppesen - synthesizers, vocoder
Phil Molto (Robert Schroeder) - on track 3 and 4
The Danish electronic musician Bjørn Jeppesen, a.k.a. Nattefrost, is a relatively new name in the field of electronic music. But it is one to be reckoned with. Bjørn made three albums on the Groove Unlimited label that got a lot of attention, "Absorbed In Dreams And Yearning" from 2006, "Underneath The Nightsky" from 2007 and "Transformation" from 2008. On these albums, he gave electronic music a fresh new look because of his fine melodies, nice rhythms, Berlin School influenced sequences and ambient sounds that have a certain Scandinavian feeling". Bjørn gives concerts on a regular basis. Two of these performances are showed here in "Live In Germany", the first live-CD from Nattefrost.
The first four tracks were recorded at the "Ambient Experience" in Wuppertal at May 3 2008 and tracks five until fourteen come from the "Electronic Circus" festival in Blelefeld on September 12 2009. Most of the pieces on "Live In Germany" come from Bjørn’s studio-albums. The first composition "Valhal (Part 1&2)" opens with sounds that could have come from Klaus Schulze’s classic album "X" and than moves into a lively rhythmic tune. On of his many specialities is sequences. This can clearly be heard in "Searching For A Distant Planet". This number also has some traces of another Scandinavian musician, Biosphere. On "Kopenhaachen" and "Perfectly Connected" a friend comes on stage. It is no-one less than Phil Molto who is perhaps better known as the one and only Robert Schroeder. He plays some excellent electric guitar. The Bielefeld concert begins with superb sequences and melodies in "Decadence" after which he comes with a rather big surprise, a cover of the classic piece "The Swan" from Camille Saint-Saëns "Le Carnaval Des Animaux". In "The Pleasure Of Tranquillity" traces of Jean Michel Jarre can be heard while "Descending From The Stars" brings the listener in the eighties. The music goes to rest in "Draconian" while "Winterland" has some Tangerine Dream-elements. "Nighfall" is a rhythmic affair and "Kopenhaachen" is played without the guitar of Molto. Bjørn closes the concert in style with nice melodies and great sequences in "A New Direction". On "Live In Germany", Bjørn shows that he is a great live musician. Let this be a bridge to new surprises.
2010. Press Information
This disc captures Nattefrost's two live performances in Germany from 2008 and 2009, respectively. Nattefrost is of course Danish synthesizer artist Bjorn Jeppesen who's been crafting his own brand of ambient and sequencer-driven Electronic Music since the 1990's.
"Valhal Part 1 & 2" gets the disc underway. It was performed in 2008 at the Ambient Experience in Rex Theater, Wuppertal. The track is brimming with warm electronic pads and a deep bass sequence running underneath. Nice effects compliment this piece of music. The sound of waves heralds the coming of the second part, which consists of a prominent uplifting sequence and an electronic rhythm to boost. Nice melodic flourishes complete the picture - simple but effective.
"Searching For A Distant Planet" introduces a more sombre mood, with contemporary sounds and an IDM-like flair. A nice gentle melodic line changes this track from a somber excursion it seemed to be at the beginning into an easy-going and serene rhythmic floater.
"Kopenhaachen" is a track from "Transformation" album. It was co-composed by Phil Molto aka Robert Schroeder, who also appears here as supporting musician. The track is very much in line with Robert's current output, which means floating and melodic music with a slightest Down tempo influence. However, it's still recognizably Nattefrost in mood.
"Perfectly Connected" - another track from "Transformation" - follows, again a duo performance with Robert Schroeder. This time, however, it's frenetic and sequencer-driven, with background guitar soloing. It's a nice change of pace. This track closes the Wuppertal portion of the disc as the rest is from a concert at the Electronic Circus in Movie (Bielefeld) in 2009.
After a brief intro laden with effects, we delve into "Decadence" - a 5-minute sequencer stunner. Crisp pulsations are combined with repeating melodic motifs. The track is culled from "Transformation" release.
"The Swan" follows and it's a Saint-Saens cover. To hear a Classical piece done Nattefrost style was an interesting experience as he's certainly no Wendy Carlos for God's sake! Not that Saint-Saens' music is something I would think of when hearing Nattefrost music but there you go. An odd but funny diversion.
"The Pleasure of Tranquility" is a landmark Nattefrost piece - moody and cosmic with a dramatic underscore. One can only wonder at the sheer beauty of those gentle but minimal melodies and the masterfully programmed synthesizers. It's possibly the most recognizable Nattefrost track of them all and also certainly one of the best ones.
"Descending From the Stars" is a piece from "Absorbed In Dreams And Yearning" album. It features a slow, steady rhythm supported by multiple sequenced pulsations. This particular track has a Jarre feeling (most probably because of the pad progressions).
"Draconian" uses fat pulsations and nice synth textures to great effect. The track is typical Nattefrost in his "urban" mode. It evokes industrial landscapes, bridges, traffic, skyscrapers, subway and similar imagery, although I must admit it is highly subjective.
"Winterland" pumps up those bpm's for a roller coaster of a ride on top of optimistic pulsations and bright melodies. On the other hand, "Nightfall" is a darker, more experimental piece with harder rhythms and not so prominent melodies.
Another version of "Kopenhaachen" follows, this time without Robert Schroeder but with nice vocoder instead. This version is also much more laid-back than the usual fare - Scandinavian-style EM of the highest order.
"A New Direction" closes the disc in the most impressive way possible. The track was first heard on "Transformation" and it's certainly one of the best tracks on that album and also on this live disc here. It makes use of some tasty sequences and a great, super-effective three note melody. Nice Mellotron choirs as well.
If you like Bjorn's special brand of melodic, sequencer-based music, this live CD is a must.
2010. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music
The last couple of years, Bjørn Jeppesen aka Nattefrost has established himself as an accomplished electronic musician, which was even "accelerated" when he was contracted by the established Groove Unlimited label.
The well-tempered "Live in Germany" contains excerpts of two live sets played in Wuppertal in 2008 (where Bjørn is joined by Robert Schroeder on guitar) and Bielefeld in 2009 respectively.
Fans of accessible melodic and sequenced music will be very pleased by the 14 tracks featured on this album, although I'm not too happy with the overall sound quality of the set played in Wuppertal.
It's very upfront but also a bit harsh to my ears. Robert's excessive guitar doesn't make that any better.
In addition, I also would have preferred the announcement of the stronger second set was left out as well as Bjørn's many thank-you's between the tracks. The second set e.g. contains the excellent and groovy "Decadence" and the joyous "The Pleasure of Tranquillity", but unfortunately also a disfigured version of Saint-Saëns "The Swan".
Bert Strolenberg / Sonic Immersion
This release from 2010 offers 65 minutes of pleasant electronic music chosen from two live performances: one from Ambient Experience II at the Rex Theater in Wuppertal, Germany, on May 3, 2008, and the second batch from the electronic Circus in Bielefeld, Germany, on September 12, 2009.
Nattefrost is: Bjorn Jeppesen. He is joined on two tracks (in the 2008 material) by Phil Molto (aka Robert Schroeder).
The 2008 concert selection (which clocks in at 21 minutes long) starts with moody pieces drenched with pensive textures that support equally serene electronics. Hints of soft e-perc can be heard. Keyboards gradually come into play, contributing delicate chords that inject a pleasant joviality to the fluid passages. Then come two pieces that display somewhat more vitality. First, chugging e-perc compliments lilting keyboards that establish spiraling melodics. Things switch to a more bubbly disposition for the last 2008 piece, with blooping notes and Molto's astral guitar.
The 2009 concert begins with material that nicely blends a flowing calm with hints of restrained verve. As the gig progresses, that vitality emerges to cavort in the form of spry electronics laced with heavenly tones that leave behind a glistening residue. A return to a peaceful mood is adroitly seasoned by nimble-fingered keys, leading to an aerial vantage of genial scope that becomes sweetly agitated by a mounting riff that carries the audience ever higher. Vocodered voice is used to punctuate some pieces.
These compositions concentrate on achieving a mood of friendly tunes which are periodically peppered with instances of sprightly escalation. While rhythms are present, they are used sparingly, allowing the electronics to establish a drifting consistency.
2010. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
"Live In Germany" is an excellent vehicle for the music of Bjorn Jeppesen. Not only does it feature tracks from his albums but it also shows Nattefrost to be a superb, entertaining live act. Not something every act can claim on the EM scene. Excellent choice of tracks that grab the listeners attention and none over the 7-minute mark.
A very polished and professional performance. Nice one, Bjorn!
2010. Bruce Gall / Sunday Synth
Quietly Björn Jeppesen is gathering the fruits of his skill. Since Absorbed in Dreams and Yearning the Danish synthesist constantly sees his star shone in the small growing universe of EM. With its unique style where nervous sequences, rhythm permutations and ambient passages in a Berlin School style cross his Scandinavian melodies, Nattefrost won a larger public and present concerts at a more constant scale. Just before the release of his upcoming album on Groove label, Dying Sun/Scarlet Moon, Björn Jeppesen presents his first live album. A live, with 2 concerts on it, that covers a good part of its 3 CD released on Groove.
Live in Germany first part consists of a portion from a concert held in Wuppertal for the Ambient Experience II event on May 3rd 2008. For this occasion Nattefrost was accompanied by Robert Schroeder on guitars.
A shortened version of Valhal starts this concert. Suave and softly ambient, the intro clears the path to free sequences which open the very harmonious section of this so oniric synth which pushes beautiful synthesized odes under great percussions. A wonderful track, that one finds on Absorbed in Dreams and Yearning. Unfortunately, and as on Tracks from the Archives, the sound quality of this concert is very limited. A rather cold sound, a little as those bootlegs recorded from the audience.
So it’s with a diminished sound that we follow the evolution of Searching for a Distant Planet, which we also find on Tracks from the Archives, with sequences colliding on an ambient veil. A great track which sounds definitively better on Underneath the Nightsky.
Kopenhaachen and Perfectly Connected, both from Transformation, are also suffering of this sonorous weakness. We have difficulty to seize correctly all nuances and modulations of Kopenhaachen rhythms, which we will find later on the Bielefeld section (Schroeder absent this time), whereas the sound quality of Perfectly Connected is better defined, allowing thus to follow these frenzied sequences which feed a nervous rhythmic of which Robert Schroeder guitar solos are however difficult to seize suitably. The sonorous quality of Bielefeld concert is definitely higher.
Decadence opens the ball with nervous sequences which hop furiously on a slightly syncopated structure and a beautiful bass line which hems an incisive cadence. The synth frees beautiful dark layers and solos in a cosmic sound context, bordering Jarre cosmic side. A heavy track that one finds on Transformation.
The Swan, which will appear on Dying Sun/Scarlet Moon, is a strange adaptation of Camille Saint-Saëns track from Le Carnaval des Animaux. We are far from an interpretation as quiet as the original one with sequences which collide violently. Hybrid, the synth shapes a splendid melody in a cosmic in an atmosphere of cosmic carnival. I like Björn Jeppesen audacity which is attacking a beautiful monument while letting this superb piece of music flows under bridges of unchained sequences, Nattefrost trademark.
Another track from Dying Sun/Scarlet Moon Draconian presents sequences always so heavy and resounding which trace a random rhythmic schema before embracing a technoïd phase. Hybrid, the tempo hesitates between its heaviness and measure beneath layers of a synth whose loops coo among dark and misty strata.
Great cosmic ballad from Underneath the Nightsky, The Pleasure of Tranquillity is played with a more sequential punch, but preserves all its melodious senses beneath beautiful cosmic streaks of a charmer synth.
Caressing Jarre fragrances with a synth filled of symphonic strata on a groovy tempo, Descending from the Stars is redoing all of its beauty.
Winterland displays as much intensity with its surging sequences which trace a frantic flow. The synth there is fluid and frees strata which intermingle with beautiful solos that replace Schroeder guitar on Underneath the Nightsky.
Presented for the very first time on Tracks from the Archives, Nightfall is interpreted with more mordent; particularly because of good percussions play that hammer this heavy rhythm which undulates under a strange aura from the bottom of seas. The concert of Bielefeld ends with 2 superb interpretations of tracks from Nattefrost last album studio, Transformation. Even with the absence of Schroeder on guitars, Kopenhaachen is boiling of energy with its rhythm based on intersected sequences and its synth with sounds of festive trumpets. A solid interpretation for a superb track!
New Direction concludes with this rhythm which hops slightly on sequences filled of an electronic fixity. Electronic sonorities which pullulate there form a dense electronic and cosmic cloud, from which escapes a melody as vague and nuanced as the crushed rhythm of A New Direction.
Live in Germany shows us a Nattefrost who communicates constantly with his public. Between each track of the Bielefeld Electronic Circus concert, Björn Jeppesen informs and discusses with his audience, demystifying the fact that the mutism of an artist in concert is synonymous with the respect of its icon of creativity. If that annoyed some people, that makes me think that Nattefrost is a concerned artist of its public, and well beyond the words. Even if the Wuppertal concert has a quite poor sonority, the Bielefeld show is quite simply brilliant.
The music presented is done with the nobility of its evolution and the straightness of its broad outlines. A concert where Björn Jeppesen shows that an EM spectacle isn't necessarily pre-recorded and that there is place for some modifications within tracks presented.
2010. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness