Australian sound-smith Ben Frost returns with A U R O R A, a surprisingly accessible effort from one of experimental music’s most renown contributors.
We’ve learned a lot of Ben Frost of late. He’s got a sweet spot for Blake Griffin, loves a cup of coffee, has a near psychopathic intrigue of cannibalism, and probably enjoys saying ridiculous things just to keep us scratching our heads (or maybe he just is that cool … though I would have pegged him for a Lance Stephenson fan). A U R O R A (henceforth Aurora) is Frost’s fourth solo album and a perfect opportunity to see him explore new directions with his music.
Detractors may complain about Aurora veering into dance territory, but in reality I very much doubt we’ll find Frost lighting up the clubs any time soon. The artist’s main focus remains on experimentalism; on Aurora, Frost happens to be expanding his horizons beyond the sounds and modes employed on his first three albums. As a result, his longstanding comparison to artists like Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin are now replaced by Fuck Buttons and The Field — at least on those tracks where Frost really goes for broke (see “Secant” and “Venter,” for example). Aurora is still packed to the gills with Frost’s signature menacing ambience and caustic, ear cleansing noise, which sound appease the purists who can’t fathom the artist altering his tried-and-true formula.
Long time fans of Frost have surely learned to trust the artist by now and embrace his new projects and whims. Aurora is a delightful spin for those willing to look past it’s commercial aspirations, as loosely founded as they are, and continues to solidify Frost as one of the most exciting and daring artists of our time.