|Ben Frost — A U R O R A (2014)|
Ben Frost — A U R O R A
ψ Both testing of boundaries and transcendental of beauty...
ψ Australian experimental electronic music composer influenced by a wide range of music from classical minimalism to punk rock and black metal.
ψ The music of Ben Frost is about contrast; influenced as much by Classical Minimalism as by Punk Rock and Metal, Frost’s throbbing guitar–based textures emerge from nothing and slowly coalesce into huge, forbidding forms that often eschew conventional structures in favor of the inevitable unfoldings of vast mechanical systems.
Born: 1980 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Genre: Avant–Garde, Electronic, Pop/Rock
Styles: Experimental Electronic, Noise
Album release: May 26, 2014
Record Label: Mute/Bedroom Community
1 Flex 2:51
2 Nolan 6:58
3 The Teeth Behind the Kisses 3:13
4 Secant 4:55
5 Diphenyl Oxalate 1:31
6 Venter 6:45
7 No Sorrowing 4:27
8 Sola Fide 6:27
9 A Single Point of Blinding Light 3:18
Ψ Limited Coloured 12" Vinyl Edition + Download + Poster
Ψ Limited Edition coloured vinyl — Includes a poster, and free download. Serious collectors item. Super limited edition. Yellow Vinyl.
Ψ A U R O R A is Ben Frost’s highly anticipated fifth solo release, his first since the widely acclaimed 2009 album BY THE THROAT.
Ψ A U R O R A aims directly, through its monolithic construction, at blinding luminescent alchemy; not with benign heavenly beauty but through decimating magnetic force.
Ψ This is no pristine vision of digital music, it is a filthy, uncivilized offering of interrupted future time where emergency flares illuminate ruined nightclubs and the faith of the dancefloor rests in a diesel–powered generator spewing forth its own extinction, eating rancid fuel so loudly it threatens to overrun the very music it is powering.
Ψ Performed by Ben Frost with Shahzad Ismaily, Greg Fox and Thor Harris.
Ψ Production Executed by Ben Frost, Paul Corley, Valgeir Sigurðsson and Daniel Rejmer.
Ψ Additional Sound Designs and Production by Lawrence English and Tim Hecker.
Ψ Recorded between 2011 and 2013 in Eastern DR Congo, EMPAC New York and Reykjavík by Daniel Rejmer, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Paul Corley, Paul Evans and Ben Frost.
Ψ Assisted by Alexander Overington, Jonathan Kawchuk, Emanuele Porcinai and Adrian Libeyre Ramirez.
Ψ Mixed, Mastered and laid to rest by Valgeir Sigurðsson and Ben Frost at Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavík Iceland in December 2013.
Ψ Additional mixing by Daniel Rejmer.
By Sam Shepherd | posted on 20 May 2014 | ****
Ψ By all accounts, recovery from the sonic assault of Ben Frost’s last solo effort, By the Throat certainly takes some time. Not just for the fingerprints to fade and the need for a polo-neck to become less urgent; it was an album that was psychologically affecting too. Beauty, horror and raw animalistic violence hid within that album. It didn’t even hide particularly well, so much as stalk and eviscerate at will.
Ψ Four years have passed since By the Throat, and a new solo venture from Frost is most welcome. He’s been immersing himself in various projects in the meantime; as a producer he’s handled Swans’ The Seer (the band most likely to receive top marks reviews these days it seems, even if their earlier work was more concise, brutal and dare it be said, better) and Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath 1972. He’s produced score for choreographers, directed an opera based on Iain Banks’ The Wasp Factory and traveled to war-torn eastern Congo to produce the sound and visual installation, The Enclave.
Ψ Frost has stated that it was eastern Congo that influenced the sound of Aurora. Not just the aggressive nature of everyday life, but the pure primal nature of the surroundings. The album was conceived and written in the shadow of the active volcano Mount Nyiragongo and it has clearly made an impression on Frost and, in turn, on the album. There is a epic scale to many of these tracks, and there is also an underlying and undeniable sense of violence. Yet curiously Aurora is also one of Frost’s most accessible and positive sounding records, and one of his most metallic and industrial efforts to date. There is little in the way of what might be deemed ‘authentic’ instrumentation. Only metal, machines, and drums. It is, in a sense, the sound of primitivism meeting technology in the few moments before fiery judgement is visited upon them.
Ψ Strangely, Flex, which starts the album, sounds as if it was created in a busy metropolis. It successfully emulates the experiences and sounds of a tube train accelerating through the arteries of an organic city. When it reaches its destination, the frantic beat that drives the song falters and dies; it’s like a musical embolism. Nolan moves in a different realm, where metal oscillates and huge ferrous discs are worshipped like rusty deities. There’s an organic pulse here again, but the synthetic dancefloor is already starting to beckon with screaming synths calling out for fresh blood.
Ψ It’s a similar trick pulled by closing track A Single Point Of Blinding Light, but it’s more refined and anything organic is long gone. There are still tribal elements, but essentially this is the sound of technology frenetically stomping on the metal casket of humanity. It fizzes out with what sounds like a dentist’s drill, a final insult to human kind, all of whom fear that particular sound (with the possible exception of dentists). Ψ Earlier on, Venter takes its cue from the unbridled power of the volcano and channels it into a rumbling tribal drum affair. It’s here that Frost is aided and abetted by Swans and Liturgy drummers Thor Harris and Greg Fox, and their presence turns the track into a clattering ball of ferocious, yet positive, energy.
Ψ There are slightly more sedate moments to be found, notably on No Sorrowing, which hisses into life via a static-laden intro and then finds a way to make engine roar calming. But despite the odd moment, Aurora is an album with one eye fixed firmly on the killing/dance floor. The screeching blur of Diphenyl Oxalate (a song that sounds like unfettered nightclub abandon) pulls no punches, but the fact that the song is titled with the name of the compound that makes glowsticks work their magic leaves little doubt. — (http://www.musicomh.com/)
Artist Biography by John D. Buchanan
Ψ Australian experimental electronic music composer Ben Frost was born in 1980 and grew up in Melbourne, influenced by a wide range of music from classical minimalism to punk rock and black metal, as well as sound art and design. In 2001 he self-released his debut EP, Music for Sad Children, which was well-received and led to an album release, Steel Wound, in 2003 on Lawrence English's acclaimed Room 40 label. The album was composed of treated acoustic guitar recordings made in the desolate Australian outback, combined with field recordings by English, and was warmly received by the worldwide ambient community.
Ψ In 2005 Frost emigrated from Australia, a country where he later said he "never really felt at home," and moved to Iceland, where he formed the label/collective Bedroom Community with fellow experimentalists Valgeir Sigurðsson and Nico Muhly. Ψ Frost then started to develop what would become regarded as his signature style: densely composed, incredibly visceral, noisy music created with electric guitars, electronics, and chamber strings. His debut for Bedroom Community was the highly acclaimed Theory of Machines in 2007, followed by the even more vicious By the Throat in 2009. As the collective grew, Frost performed on and engineered many albums by his fellow artists, and also became infamous for his brutally loud, unlit live performances. In 2010 he was selected to be mentored for a year by Brian Eno as part of the Rolex Mentors & Protégés Initiative. The result was the 2011 album Sólaris, a soundtrack of sorts to Andrei Tarkovsky's classic sci-fi film, commissioned by the Unsound Festival in Kraków and composed alongside fellow Bedroom Community artist Daníel Bjarnason. Frost branched out into other soundtrack work with his scores for the Australian psychological drama films In Her Skin and Sleeping Beauty, the latter of which screened in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was highly critically acclaimed.
Ψ Frost spent most of 2012 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, documenting the bloody conflict there with video artist Richard Mosse for an audio–visual art installation which was exhibited at the 2013 Venice Biennale. While he was there he also wrote music for a new album. In 2013 he signed to Mute and went about recording the new album with Greg Fox, Shahzad Ismaily, and Swans drummer Thor Harris. Inspired in part by a love of African music he had learned from Eno, the album was heavily percussive, as dense as his earlier work but less noisy and more purely electronic. Entitled Aurora, it was scheduled for release in May 2014 and was preceded by the single "Venter."
By Andrew Hannah, 20 May 2014, Rating: 8/10
MIKE DIVER / REVIEWS / 13 · 05 · 2014, 8/10
Ψ Music for Sad Children (2001) — independent
Ψ Steel Wound (2003/re–issue 2007/2012) — Room40
Ψ Theory of Machines (2007) — Bedroom Community
Ψ By the Throat (2009) — Bedroom Community
Ψ The Invisibles (2010) — for Amnesty International
Ψ Sólaris (with Daníel Bjarnason) (2011) — Bedroom Community
Ψ Sleeping Beauty (2011) — independent — Soundtrack for Julia Leigh's movie of the same name.
Ψ Black Marrow (2013) — independent
Ψ F a R (2013) — independent
Ψ A U R O R A (2014) — Mute Records / Bedroom Community
|Ben Frost — A U R O R A (2014)|