Mataspion — the project name for Morten Richter — pulses with innovation. After acclaimed reviews for his debut album that mixed Scandinavian Folk with electronic beats, Richter decided to push deeper into the roots of the music.
Cryptomeduza is, in some places, deep and dark, pulling in influences of black metal and Richter’s own history with glam rock. However, the record finds just as much comfort in joy and the celebration of integration. The melodies rule the tracks, but the electronic dance beats always pull the music into a futuristic world befitting of the album art.
“Push” is perhaps the best example of what Mataspion can wield with crunchy beats and synths — but when a commitment is made to mood, songs like “Gandr” emerge and pulse an ominous grandness. “Motherfucker”, true to its name, is intense. A departure on the record, the record’s penultimate track is nearly oppressive until the drop pulls everything apart.
Where the album shines most brightly is when it pulls melody from nordic music to create songs with a sense of triumph. Despite the forays into darkness, tracks like “Cryptomeduza” and “Rotnheims-Knut” have a fanfare-esque quality — the latter utilizes a quick-pace rhythm to develop urgency. “Turbo Tommy” and “Havella” become album highlights for their integration of joy with electronic danceability. This is where the euphoria peaks.