Ben Frost
Theory of Machines


5.0
classic

Review

by Micky67 USER (12 Reviews)
April 9th, 2007 | 20 replies | 15,963 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Captivating stuff , experimental, dark and brooding. Fantastic

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Icelandic music seems to be taking over my life at the moment. Ok, Ben Frost was born in Melbourne so isn't technically Icelandic. He has, however, lived in Reykjavik for over two years now and some of that Scandinavian magic must have rubbed off in him. It was in Iceland's capital that he met "Theory of Machines" collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson. Coming to prominence through the severely limited "Steel Wound" LP, and thrust into the limelight via remixing duties for Björk, Frost has created "Theory of Machines" and it is a jaw-dropping effort that ambigiously mixes noise-rock, dirty and distorted electronica and apocalyptic synths. Released on the close-knit Bedroom Community label, Boomkat recently hailed "Theory of Machines" as 'the future of electronic music'. For once believe the hype, Frost is the real deal.

The 10 minute title track sets the tone immediately, summoning Aphex Twin's non-conformist spirit as slow drones drip from your sound system, they are over-lapped with cascading string arrangements. Layers upon layers of distortion are heaped into the mix, like the sound of a million machines about to wage war on all mankind. We get our first taste of Frost's fragmented programming abilities around the 5 minute mark with some immense hazardous, broken beat work. "Stomp", meanwhile, comes across like Autechre on anti-deperessants. Its all clicks and cuts and dynamic basslines. Some Thurston Moore style lo-fi guitar work edges its way in with those fragmented beats, before subsiding. Leaving us with an ominous sounding build-up of synths that evokes images of barren wastelands.

The stunning "We Love You Michael Gira", a tribute to the Young God Records owner (and former Swans member), follows and displays Frost's arbitary approach to making music. The rule book is completely torn-up and shredded during this pioneering track. Ill-boding synths slowly unfurl as obscured noises and bleeps float around them. A lonely piano note can be heard in the distance as ear-shredding static scratches across the mix. Those scratches develop into crashing waves of ruptured beatwork and interference, like the sounds of ghosts trying to break free from your sound system.

The noise-rock interlude of "Coda" offers only a brief respite, as "Forgetting You Is Like Breathing Water" throws the listener straight back in, head first. Returning to the dark and epic terrains of previous tracks, it comes across like a more subdued version of that collaboration between Japan's Mono and World's End Girlfriend. The brass section towards the end provides a fitting climax to this spectacular album. In the early 90's Autechre redefined the boundaries of electronica, through "Incunabula". With "Theory of Machines", Frost has smashed those boundaries into a million little pieces.



Recent reviews by this author
Phon°noir The Objects Don't Need UsLast Days These Places Are Now Ruins
Wes Willenbring Somewhere Someone ElseRubens Carnivalesque
Solipsism Electricity Flows In SquaressubtractiveLAD No Man's Land
user ratings (72)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Abaddon2005
April 9th 2007



684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice to see you back at reviewing again, but I don't think this would be my cup of tea. Still digging Tobias Lilja though.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 9th 2007



16083 Comments


How easy is this to obtain, perchance?

Abaddon2005
April 9th 2007



684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My guess is this will be a hard find in stores, but that Amazon link works fine.

Zebra
Moderator
April 9th 2007



2647 Comments


The review length and descriptions were perfect but you should probably make more of an effort in justifying your perfect rating.

La Revolucion
April 9th 2007



1060 Comments


I'm listening to 30 second samples from this on iTunes right now, which is absolutely ridiculous because the songs are all about 10 minutes. They're very nice samples, though. Pretty.

Kaleid
April 9th 2007



710 Comments


More Autechre comparisons, nice
Though I agree with Zebra that awarding an album a five needs a little more justification

AlienEater
April 10th 2007



716 Comments


Sounds great

Any artist with a song named after Michael Gira must be good.

Micky67
April 10th 2007



23 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

For once believe the hype, Frost is the real deal"

"Frost has created Theory of Machines and it is a jaw-dropping effort "

"In the early 90's Autechre redefined the boundaries of electronica, through "Incunabula". With "Theory of Machines", Frost has smashed those boundaries into a million little pieces"

I thought that would be justification enough?.

Also anyone looking to buy this can do so through Boomkat and Amazon.

Finally, I forgot my login info, hence the lack of reviews.

samariah
November 23rd 2007



109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i have a few bjork remixes of his but i want to hear this

samariah
December 15th 2007



109 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i finally found this and it is quite nice

Meatplow
May 18th 2009



5524 Comments


this is really good, I was recommended it at random and it's really gelled with me.

MassiveAttack
August 2nd 2009



2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is what NIN's Ghosts should of been. Its fantastic!

Meatplow
August 3rd 2009



5524 Comments


it is. I often listen to it recently, great background and foreground music alike

Slipping Away
April 17th 2010



1261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is really great, might bump this up after a few more listens

Trophycase
November 1st 2012



194 Comments


Listening to this now, the glitches in We Love You Michael Gira are just plain fucking scary.

Trophycase
November 1st 2012



194 Comments


Also, TOTALLY getting the reference to Mono/WEG collab in "Forgetting You is Like Breathing Water". Nice job.

Kman418
June 8th 2014



10098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the title track is the most beautiful thing ive heard in months what the fuck i need this right now

Digging: OutKast - Aquemini

Kman418
June 8th 2014



10098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

gonna download everything he's ever made brb

Kman418
June 9th 2014



10098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

through the glass of the roof/through the roof of your mouth/through the mouth of your eye is so incredible im gonna start crying

TheBarber
June 9th 2014



1769 Comments


I love the artwork on this one, might getting into a Ben Frost craze pretty soon

Digging: Mogwai - Special Moves



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy