Listen: Ben Frost “Ionia”

Listen: Ben Frost “Ionia” (Photo: Salar Kheradpejouh)

When Ben Frost was asked by The Guardian back in 2015, “What’s next…,” he replied candidly,

“To be honest, I don’t know how many more records I have in me – at this point, I don’t know if I have any – or even how much longer that format’s going to satisfy me.”

The year before Frost had directed an adaptation of Iain Banks‘ cult novel The Wasp Factory, and it would seem from the composer/musician’s quote, directing for the stage provided sound and performance possibilities far beyond that of a record or CD release. Luckily, though, Ben Frost will return to the medium on September 29th with the release of his The Centre Cannot Hold LP due out on Mute. Recorded with Steve Albini in Chicago, the upcoming effort finds Frost in the role of the performer rather than the sound designer and the results are stunning.

Ionia” is the next listen in on the upcoming album, and across its nearly seven minutes it unfolds like a virile sonic pathogen. A radioactive pool of reverberating synth tones makes a strangely reflective surface here, and over it, Frost unleashes arpeggiating note clusters that bristle with energy. Soon these two elements are joined by a host of pads and strings, and they add a sense of drama to the proceedings before this track steps thru the mirror’s reflective surface to enter a strange lunar dimension. Momentarily trapped in this near frozen place, “Ionia” eventually passes back thru into a hyperactive realm where exploding synth notes and rippling patterns vie for attention in a maelstrom of melodic activity.

Listen: Ben Frost “Ionia”

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