Ben Frost: Venter
Back in 2009, in what was his debut Irish performance, Ben Frost waged sonic war on the Pavilion, Cork.
That the venue is still standing is testament to what is evidently some sound structural engineering. Trying to convey in words the volume and sheer scale of sound that washed over the venue that night would be an exercise in futility.
However, those who were there will readily attest to having an almost spiritual experience. There was a sense that you weren’t only hearing the sound, you were actually witnessing it rumbling towards you from the stage.
A tidal wave of sound set to stun, you could feel it pass through you. As it did so it physically rattled your bones. The flecks of paint and light debris that rained down from the ceiling that night provided a visual reminder that you were indeed part of something very special.
Since then Frost has released another lauded album, By The Throat, four scores for film and contemporary dance pieces, collaborated frequently with Brian Eno and produced critically acclaimed works by Colin Stetson and Tim Hecker, as well as making his directorial debut with an opera based on Ian Bank’s novel The Wasp Factory.
This past week he dropped the first real taste from his soon-to-be-released fifth album A U R O R A. And it is predictably stunning. ‘Venter’ is as visceral and evocative as anything Frost has lent his name to before.
With both Thor Harris of Swans fame and Greg Fox, former drummer of US black metal outfit Liturgy, on percussive duties, its little surprise the track is built on shuddering and circular polyrhythms. The cascading, glistening bells, pipes and fragile glassy tones that augment the percussive onslaught hint at what’s to come around the four minute mark, at which point the track momentarily stalls before exploding into a full-on synthetic blitz.
Check out the track and then sort out a ticket for what is sure to be a sell-out show.
Ben Frost plays the Triskel Development Centre on Friday, May 16.