YEDM’s finally managed to bag Eatbrain for a premiere and it couldn’t be a better release for such a first than Nuvertal’s next release with the neuro imprint, the Reaper EP. Due out this Friday, July 21, this EP seems to have been fated for Eatbrain. A follow-up of sorts to his 2022 Real Murder EP, Nuvertal’s style seems perfectly suited to Eatbrain, being both deep and melodic with just the right touch of tech. Reaper is somewhat of a new level for Nuvertal, and with this premiere, fans will quickly see why.
In more ways than just the label it ended up on, Reaper seems to represent a culmination of the work Nuvertal’s done so far. While still firmly in deep neurofunk territory, this EP seems to take the Russian producer’s sound in a more emotive and rich direction that certainly wasn’t lost on the Eatbrain A&R team and won’t be lost on fans. From the jump on opening track “Teknocurl,” there’s a sizeable classical influence in the ambient work. Still heavy on the party vibes (there is, after all, no party without neuro, as the t-shirts say) and whip-smart snares, listeners should pay close attention to this classical influence, because it’s what really makes the EP stand out.
The title track is even more jumpy and dancey than its predecessor but this is where the “tekno” “curls” into something different. A robotic, futuristic version of The Grim Reaper seems to emerge from the music, winding its way around the dance and collecting souls as the beat distracts them. You know it’s good when it’s that visceral, and the album art certainly helps paint the picture of the journey Nuvertal intends to take us on. It’s when the penultimate track, “Brazen Rain” begins, with its even tones and lighter feel after the carnage the “Reaper” has wrought, that we recognize the journey and the fact that this EP isn’t just four tracks strung together but a story: the birth, life, death and redemption of the Reaper? perhaps, but it can also just represent any life cycle we’re all constantly in.
Following the life cycle trope as we now must, the closing track and YEDM premiere today, “Hope It Already Ended” brings the EP back to the classical hints that were in “Teknocurl” with its beautiful string ensemble opening and break. While still containing a heavy beat and loads of grimy neuro sub bass, glitch work and interesting phrase transitions, the synth melody and ambient sound design gives that theatrical, emotive feeling even during the raviest parts of the track. Said synths seem to synthesize from the strings and throughout the track they merge with each other, transitioning back and forth so smoothly and quickly that one might not even noticed it’s happening until a few bars in. No matter what the symbolism here, “Hope It Already Ended” is easily the most complex and well-rounded track on an EP of already epic tracks.
While not his first EP, on Eatbrain or elsewhere (he’s also released multi-tracks on Program and Neuropunk Records in recent years), Reaper will certainly be a seminal work for Nuvertal. In these four tracks, he’s managed to convey not only the diversity of his style but the depth and complexity that can be found in his work in a way most fans likely haven’t heard it before. Eatbrain were certainly smart to sign this EP and while it will get a lot of play throughout festival season this year, “Hope It Already Ended” and others from this release will probably resonate far beyond the current fast-release culture.
Reaper drops on Eatbrain on Friday, July 21. Click here to pre-order.