MADEIRADIG Artist Feature: Ben Frost | 03-06.12.2010 @ Madeira Island / Portugal

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Frost’s music is about contrast; influenced as much by Classical Minimalism as by Rock & 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.
[audio:Ben Frost – Huakusja.mp3]His compositions are created with an acute awareness of the listener and their comfort thresholds, exploiting every extreme of pitch and volume. Ben is one of a handfull of artists to have been selected to take part in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative for 2011.

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.

One of Frost’s latest projects is a rework of Tarkovky’s Solaris which he is doing together with fellow Bedroom Community artist Daníel Bjarnason and Krakow’s 28 piece ensemble the Sinfonietta Cracovia.

Ben Frost | Killshot

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 coreographer Erna Ómarsdottír.


BEN FROST / photo by mina[audio:06 Peter Venkman Pt.I.mp3]

“…simply awesome… Frost reminds us that minimalism was never just the polished sheen of Reich and Glass, but also the sweat and grime of Michael Gira’s Swans… A deeper, darker minimalism- menacing and claustrophobic… This is Arvo Pärt as arranged by Trent Reznor… Magnificent”
THE WIRE Magazine about BEN FROST

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 Stars Like Fleas, Tim Hecker, Björk, Amiina, Crowpath, Wildbirds and Peacedrums, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and with celebrated Bedroom Community labelmates Sam Amidon (Appalachian folksinger), Nico Muhly (classical composer), and longtime collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson (composer/producer) with whom Frost shares Sigurðsson’s recording facility Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavík.

Ben performs Leo Needs A New Pair Of Shoes at the Greenhouse Studios

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 2009 release BY THE THROAT.

Ben Frost will perfom at the MADEIRADIG Festival 2010. To get an idea what goes on there and why it is so unique have a look at the last year Pictures & Comments, watch the documentary or visit the Website.

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THE MADEIRADIG FESTIVAL 2010

03-06.12.2010 | Madeira Island / Portugal

with Ben Frost, Peter “PITA” Rehberg, Stephan Mathieu & Caro Mikalef, Janek Schaefer, Simon Whetham & Hugo Olim, Richard Skelton, The Beautiful Schizophonic, Peter Broderick, Max Tundra uvm.

www.madeiradig.net | http://www.myspace.com/theghostofbenfrost | http://www.ethermachines.com

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