Ben Frost – Steel Wound (2003)

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Australian-born and Iceland-based musician Ben Frost has, in three albums, managed to breed a new and visceral approach to sonic and cinematic experimentalism. Debuting on the respected Room40 label with 2003’s “Steel Wound”, Frost gained increasing notoriety through his groundbreaking, Swans-inspired “Theory of Machines” (2006, Bedroom Community), and blew-up with 2009’s much-admired album “By the Throat” (Bedroom Community), where flowing compositions that brim with howling wolves, distorted string sections, haunted clavichords, and sustained guitar all add up to fearsome melee that, as the title suggests, grabs the listener by the throat.

The music Ben Frost is about contrast. Influenced as much by the spirit of classical minimalism as by punk rock and metal, Frost’s throbbing guitar-based textures emerge from nothing and slowly coalesce into huge, forbidding forms only to plunge back into sudden, complete, tomb-like silence. While the experience is on the one hand a cerebral exercise, it also has an undeniably visceral effect; the combination of amplified electronics and the furious thrashing of live guitars is meant to be 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.

Constantly in search of new sonic horizons and physical experiences, Frost has also created soundtracks for a number of respected contemporary dance productions with companies Chunky Move and the Icelandic Dance Company while also working with acclaimed choreographers Erna Ómarsdottír and UK’s Wayne McGregor. He has also shown interest in music for movies via his recent collaboration with Daniel Bjarnason, where the pair composed a new soundtrack depicting the terrifying isolation felt in Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s acclaimed adaptation of Stanislas Lem’s classic sci-fi novel, Solaris. Performed live with the Sinfonietta Cracovia, the collaboration reflects Frost’s natural penchant for classical composition, which he has furthered with his Ben Frost Trio project featuring Icelandinc compatriot Borgar Magnason & Shahzad Ismaily (US). CTM is extremely pleased to be presenting a rare appearance of this project, where Frost takes the helm on electronics along with Magnason on contra bass and Ismaily on drums and synths. [Source]

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