Harmonic Series 2010 presents… Ben Frost (AUS / Bedroom Community) live at Whelan’s on November 30th 2010 at 8pm. Tickets are priced at €16 and are on sale now through www.ticketmaster.ie / City Discs / www.tickets.ie / Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
The music 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 favour of the inevitable unfoldings of vast mechanical systems.
“…The emotional power of Frost’s music comes precisely from the stark contrast between extremely basic musical material and the deadly virtual instruments he invents to perform it… This is Arvo Pärt as arranged by Trent Reznor” – Wire Magazine
“This album is a far darker affair and makes the work of most avant garde musicians sound like Girls Aloud. Like the soundtrack to an imaginary horror film, By the Throat boasts a collage of noise that is discordant and utterly unsettling.” –Irish Independent
On albums like Steel Wound, released on the Room40 label in 2003 (Pitchfork: “An exemplary ambient experience”) and Theory of Machines on Bedroom Community in 2007 (Boomkat: “The Future of electronic music…”) Frost’s music is more than a cerebral exercise and has an undeniable visceral presence, felt as much as heard. His compositions are created with an acute awareness of the listener and their comfort thresholds, exploiting every extreme of pitch and volume. His notorious, building-shaking performances at international festivals including Montreal’s famed MUTEK combine amplified electronics with the furious thrashing of live guitars. Frost himself has been described as “one of the most interesting and groundbreaking producers in the world today.” (Boomkat). His music’s intense physicality has filled gallery spaces and driven contemporary dance productions by Chunky Move, the Icelandic Dance Company, and the acclaimed choreographers Erna Ómarsdottír and Wayne McGregor.
The massive scale of Frost’s music often projects a sense of remoteness and isolation and yet he remains in demand as an artistic collaborator, having performed and worked with/for artists as diverse and acclaimed as Björk, Stars Like Fleas, Tim Hecker, Amiina, Christian Fennesz, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Wildbirds & Peacedrums and Bora Yoon, and with celebrated Bedroom Community labelmates Sam Amidon (Appalachian folksinger), Nico Muhly (classical composer), and longtime collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson (electronic composer/producer) with whom Frost shares Sigurðsson’s recording facility Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík.
Underlying Frost’s often noisy, defiant aesthetic is a quiet and welcoming humanity, and a subtle sense of emotional drama which has recently bought him to the attention of the film world, where in 2008, utilizing the Icelandic string quartet Amiina, Frost composed the tender but ominous score for the forthcoming True-Crime feature film In Her Skin, starring Sam Neill and Guy Pearce; a cinematic sensibility also pervades his current Lp, By The Throat, whose darkly surreal sound-world owes as much to David Lynch as it does to David Lang.