Bedroom Community

Ben Frost

Born in 1980 in Melbourne, Australia, Ben Frost relocated to Reykjavík Iceland in 2005 and working together with close friends Valgeir Sigurðsson and Nico Muhly, formed the Bedroom Community record label/collective.

His albums, including Steel Wound (2003), Theory of Machines (2007) and BY THE THROAT (2009) fuse intensely structured sound art with militant post-classical electronic music, shape-shifting physical power with immersive melody, concentrated minimalism with fierce, rupturing dark metal.

In 2010 he was chosen by Brian Eno as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé program for a year of collaboration, one of the outcomes of which was Sólaris; a re-scoring of the Tarkovsky classic for Poland’s Sinfonietta Cracovia. The pair continue to work together on a range of projects.

Frost regularly collaborates with other musicians and artists; in the production of albums such as Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath 1972 and Virgins, SWANS' The Seer, Colin Stetson’s New History Warfare and on various Bedroom Community releases. On the stage Frost has produced scores for choreographers including Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, Akram Khan, Gideon Obarzanek/Chunky Move, and German Director Falk Richter. For film he has composed the score for the Palme d’Or nominated Sleeping Beauty by Julia Leigh, and Djúpið by Icelandic Director Baltasar Kormákur (with Daníel Bjarnason). In the visual arts, Frost travelled with artist Richard Mosse deep beyond the frontlines of war-torn Eastern Congo to produce The Enclave, a multi-channel video and sound installation that premiered at the Venice Biennale in 2013.

Frost marked his debut as a director in 2013 with the première of his first opera, based on Iain Banks' renown 1984 novel, The Wasp Factory.  

These various collaborations and alliances underline Frost’s continuing fascination with finding ways of juxtaposing music, rhythm, technology, the body, performance, text, art - beauty and violence - combining and coalescing the roles and procedures of various artistic disciplines in one place.

What the press says

One of his boldest projects thus far, Frost’s score and concept for the opera is both ambitious and grand in its design. The writing is often sparse and wide, yet simultaneously focussed and intense.

Vincent Morris — Drowned in Sound (December 7th 2016) Read all reviews

He combines post-minimal finesse with modernist severity and Wagnerian daring, charging into the deepest abysses of quiet and storming up the fieriest peaks of noise.

Brian Howe — Pitchfork (December 27th 2016) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

...charismatic and cocky… V A R I A N T’s greatest strength is its palpable character.

Drowned in Sound (December 3rd 2014) ★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Have we learned much from this exercise about the music of Ben Frost? I think so. Sure, it’s not obvious remix material due to its already fragmented sound world that borders on the edge of decay itself. But this mixed bag of remixes shows just how intense and fragile Frost’s compositions really are with the slightest nudge – however well-meaning – seemingly able to topple his aural sculptures. However, in the hands of the masterful Regis, we discover that those limitations can prove to be a gift to those who, like Frost, revel in the perverse art of sonic deconstruction and reconfiguration.

Line Of Best Fit (December 4th 2014) ★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

American experimental artist Dutch E Germ’s radical, droning rework of Venter is probably the most adventurous track here, giving proper attention to both the noise and the delicacy of Frost’s original.

4ZZZ (December 9th 2014) Read all reviews

...artists’ intelligent treatment of Frost’s material: a clean polish to the harsh ambiguities of his sound.

The Brag (December 9th 2014) Read all reviews

If a remix EP is only as good as its remixers, then Ben Frost’s V A R I A N T has a hell of a lot going for it. Kangding Ray, HTRK, Regis, Evian Christ and Dutch E Germ transform selections from the Reykjavík-based experimentalist’s stunning A U R O R A LP, using its thunderous percussion and icy textures in five distinctive ways

Resident Advisor (December 16th 2014) Read all reviews

...Nolan remix – it’s the only track on the EP that comes close to combining beauty and horror the way Frost himself does so perfectly…

Renowned For Sound (December 16th 2014) Read all reviews

This is energetic and essential listening.

Exclaim Magazine (December 16th 2014) Read all reviews

V A R I A N T is a collection of remixed songs that does its job perfectly as an accompanying part to Ben Frost’s interstellar expedition, and successfully displays the skills of every producer without compromising any real flow or dragging on at any point.

Sputnik Music (December 16th 2014) Read all reviews

The Quietus saw Ben Frost last year and heck it was a good gig - the man’s electronic battery bolstered by some extra live drum pugilism. We’re therefore excited to report that Frost has a new album due out this spring. Expect this to be Zane Lowe’s “hottest record up my arse right now!” some time soon.

The Quietus (March 4th 2014) Read all reviews

...Ben Frost had us all in a choke-hold with 2009’s By the Throat, but he slowly relaxed his grip and drifted off into collaborative ventures, leaving me surfing OkCupid for a new partner who was into strangling. But as of a recent announcement, I can already feel the neck burns reforming about my vulnerable nape as Mr. Frost will indeed release his first solo follow-up on May 27, entitled A U R O R A!

Tiny Mix Tapes (March 18th 2014) Read all reviews

“Venter” is the LP’s first single and centerpiece, a six-minute-long menacing adventure over a frozen tundra that leads up to heart-racing mountain of percussives before an avalanche of crystallized synths and icy burns bury you chest deep just upon reaching the apex. The bright hues of the season may be in full bloom by the time this LP arrives, but the cold, scary atmosphere bleeding throughout Icelandic-by-way-of-Australian soundmaker’s composition puts spring off into a far off distance.

“Venter” starts with a bassy percussion duet that builds while electronic washes slowly emerge into the relentless drumming, multiplying create a beautiful, noisy chaos that doesn’t fade until it implodes in under its own weight.

Prefix Mag (March 20th 2014) Read all reviews

In the world of noise music, Frost means a great deal; his releases and collaborations have been of the highest caliber…

Stereogum (March 20th 2014) Read all reviews

Best New Track
I suppose we should be thankful that “Venter”, the first sample of Frost’s collaboration with Greg Fox (formerly of Liturgy), Thor Harris and Shahzad Ismaily, is a piece of music rather than a WMD. But, hell, it’s not that far off. I’m not going to spoil what happens, but let’s just say it’s called “Venter” for a damn good reason.

Pitchfork (March 21st 2014) Read all reviews

...A U R O R A, has garnered enough enthusiasm to snowball into the ambient event of the year.. It’s easy to understand the excitement.

“...‘A U R O R A’ is both testing of boundaries and transcendental of beauty.
Nothing Frost’s released before this has resonated with such life, such energy and desire for breaching an invisible barrier separating the extraordinary from the wholly otherworldly.”

Mike Diver — Clash Magazine (May 16th 2014) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

...This week we heard the first single, “Venter,” which has left us speechless.

Music Times (May 16th 2014) Read all reviews’s a harrowing and thump-heavy number that’ll surely raise some goosebumps

...once this album takes you prisoner it doesn’t let you go again.

A U R O R A is primal and thrilling, a pitch black lair in which a vicious electronic entity stalks its unstable ecosystem looking for its next victim. Pounding drums throb against the metallic structures of old, only just managing to keep the rhythms at bay. A toxic, synthetic substance runs through the music and into its veins. The thick, muscular beats can’t be contained, let alone quarantined. Harmonic ghosts are always close at hand, but they are cloaked in a waterproof layer of tight, suffocating static. A U R O R A is always on the move, glinting malevolently as it runs around the track, something that is incapable of love but rocks the very foundations with its thunderous power.

Fluid Radio (May 16th 2014) Read all reviews

... a six-minute-long menacing adventure over a frozen tundra that leads up to heart-racing mountain of percussives before an avalanche of crystallized synths and icy burns bury you chest deep just upon reaching the apex.

...Venter is an intricate and hypnotising piece of production that could easily put you in a trance given the chance and within the right circumstances. Brilliant stuff.

Music Omh (May 16th 2014) Read all reviews

8.5 ‘Best New Music’.
A U R O R A can be heard as Frost’s attempt to create something physical, and it stands above the rest of his discography.

Brandon Stosuy — Pitchfork (June 3rd 2014) ★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Deeply unsettling, heart-quickeningly intense and often gorgeous.

CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN — Rolling Stone (June 6th 2014) Read all reviews

Where 2009’s By The Throat was ruthless but exacting, this one feels genuinely unhinged—and that unpredictability makes it far more thrilling than any engineered suspense could have been.

Ben Frost has pulled off something quite remarkable with A U R O R A in making a record that’s pretty terrifying in places yet so utterly irresistible.

Andrew Hannah — The 405 (June 6th 2014) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Frost’s fifth solo outing, A U R O R A, is a brutal yet glorious release that doubles up as an unbending overture to fervour and force.

BRIAN CONEY — The Line Of Best Fit (June 11th 2014) ★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

If his aim was to give musical form to the eastern DRC’s “unnerving beauty and unflinching horror”, then A U R O R A is a dazzling success.

Maya Kalev — Fact Mag (June 11th 2014) Read all reviews

...he’s made the heaviest and most combustive electronic album of the year

Stereogum (June 23rd 2014) Read all reviews

It sounds at times like shifting tectonic masses of abrasive synths and blast beats colliding with each other on some giant sonic lithosphere, a kind of volcanic, geological breakup of an angry, auditory Pangea.

The List (June 23rd 2014) Read all reviews

If By The Throat was snow-driven purgatory then A U R O R A is the fires of hell.

Sic Magazine (June 23rd 2014) Read all reviews

The resulting album is a dark, post-industrial soundscape, relentlessly synthetic, teetering between pure chaos and epiphanic transcendence. In its wildest moments, when the most overjoyed melodies collide with the most savage noise, the most physical beats, it can feel like there might be no distinction there at all.

Ben Frost’s breakthrough fifth album has given the Australian-born producer a higher profile than ever. And not a moment too soon, as he’s one of the most visionary and articulate artists of his generation.

Mess & Noise (June 25th 2014) Read all reviews

Frost still seems concerned with giving his music a crunchy texture, creating for the listener a meticulously written, gorgeously performed piece of art that just happens to be encrusted within a burning, burping, blistering volcano of clamour.

Daniel Sylvester — Exclaim! (August 8th 2014) Read all reviews

A U R O R A is an album that revels in how unsettling it can be, but also rewards the listener in a way that many ambient albums miss out on. Ben Frost hit just the right buttons and keys to marry drones and harmony in a way that evokes your favorite late night sci-fi schlock.

In Your Speakers (September 10th 2014) Read all reviews

Listening to A U R O R A is like driving through a blizzard at night — cold, surreal, gorgeously serene, and abjectly terrifying all at once.

Spin Magazine (December 9th 2014) Read all reviews

If you’ve not yet let Ben Frost into your life, you should – because this is rich and rewarding electronic shamanism.

Crack Magazine (December 9th 2014) Read all reviews

On this latest release, Ben Frost retains his commitment to militant rhythms, aggressive textures, and ominous timbres. A U R O R A is accessible noise, like Frost’s previous work, but here, the cacophony is imbued with a shimmering vibrancy, openness, and vitality.

Pop Matters (December 9th 2014) Read all reviews

Ben Frost delivered his most fully realised album to date with A U R O R A.

Fact Magazine (December 9th 2014) Read all reviews

"Music community, brace yourselves. Ben Frost is set to occupy 'best of' lists again... ominous and devastated... Frost at his most beautiful... It’s shocking how fresh and unique this album is, a truly singular artist at the height of his craft."

Keith Pishnery — Word - Like a Scientist (September 19th 2009) Read all reviews

"BY THE THROAT plunges into a dense, dark and threatening network of subterranean galleries... If 'Theory Of Machines' was the sound of engineering gone wrong, By The Throat is that of nature shutting down, bringing all life forms down in its fall."

themilkman — The Milk Factory (September 25th 2009) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"This is no easy ride... you'll be exposed to music that's both viscerally hard on the ears and achingly beautiful... Formidable and far-reaching... (BY THE THROAT) might be one of 2009's most singularly impressive listening experiences and very likely the only record you'll hear this year whose repertoire consists of both luscious classical chamber compositions and the hunting calls of killer whales."

Boomkat (October 1st 2009) Read all reviews

"BY THE THROAT is a break in the evolutionary ladder, a jump across links in the Darwinian chain, a re-mapping of sonic DNA. Frost has taken modern music off the respirator and sent it once again trekking into the wild unknown."

Richard Allen — The Silent Ballet (October 5th 2009) ★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

" 2007 I described his music as ambient hardcore – psychologically raw, punishing... That album left a lasting impression on me... I didn’t think that 'Theory Of Machines' could be outdone, that is until I put on BY THE THROAT. Frost’s onslaught is incredible. I stand applauding."

Headphone Commute (October 18th 2009) Read all reviews

"Ben Frost had influenced what By The Throat 'looks' like to me before I'd even heard it, memorably telling the Krakow Post its visual palette is “like the glow from a lava flow, or a burning church.” ...a stunning roiling compact of pained human breath, serrated slashes of random frequency and spurts of electronic noise flapping across the stereo channels."

Chris Power — Drowned in Sound (October 21st 2009) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"...As equally terrifying as it is breathtaking, as claustrophobic as it is expansive, and as squarely rooted in the 21st century as it is timeless. Minimalism for the post-apocalypse... The best album of 2009"

Ryan Hall — In Your Speakers (November 1st 2009) Read all reviews

"Reaches right out of the thought bubble and punches you out of your skin."

David Stubbs — BBC (November 10th 2009) Read all reviews

Like a great horror film where one wants desperately to look away but cannot, it attracts and repels so convincingly that one must listen to it over and again in order to uncover its many—often terrible—secrets.

All Music (December 3rd 2009) ★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

Frost's work is more than a hall of terrors: These vivid instrumentals, which seem menacing at first, also feel somehow triumphant when heard again – new details becoming more crucial. By the Throat might frighten on the first listen, and it might shock by the 12th. But, somewhere in between, Frost – both a compelling new musical dramaturge and arranger – might just show you the silver lining of all these fears. 

Grayson Currin — Pitchfork (March 5th 2010) ★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"Sonic Youth has softened guitar rock audiences, Lightning Bolt has done the same for many punks, and Fennesz has shown the possibility for melody among noisenik laptoppers... if there is a list of noise artists that could permanently change how music listeners view the genre it may be time to add Ben Frost to it. A-"

Todd Burns — Stylus Magazine (December 14th 2006) Read all reviews

"Theory Of Machines is a mathematical model or a cosmos: the work is thought out from start to finish, but appears organic and liquid in nature."

Atli Bollason — Morgunblaðið (December 23rd 2006) ★★★★★★★★★★ Read all reviews

"Recalls the dense, relentlessness of the Swans, A sublime condensation of experience - dynamic, expansive and epic... Like the sound of icebergs breaking slowly apart"

Seb — Cyclinc Defrost Magazine (January 7th 2007) Read all reviews

Ranging from the bottom of an overpowering Tim Hecker guitar crackle canyon (“cities collapsing”, as my friend Andrew always says whenever he hears something like this) to the high atmosphere jetstreams of Eliane Radigue or a 12K type like Richard Chartier, Theory Of Machines has more depth than anything I’ve heard all year.

Mapsadaisical — Mapsadaisical (February 17th 2007) Read all reviews

"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"

Dan Warburton — The Wire (March 1st 2007) Read all reviews

An easy album this is not, as it willfully (and playfully) antagonizes the listener, but it contains unsuspected moments of beauty.

All Music (March 5th 2007) ★★★★★★★ Read all reviews



Everything Everywhere All The Time - Trailer

This is a trailer for the Bedroom Community film Everything Everywhere All The Time.
With Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson.
Also featuring Nadia Sirota.
Directed by Pierre-Alain Giraud.

Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason - Cruel Miracles

A teaser for SÓLARIS by Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason featuring the song Cruel Miracles.

Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason - Saccades

A teaser for SÓLARIS by Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason featuring the song Saccades.

Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason - Reyja

A teaser for SÓLARIS by Ben Frost & Daníel Bjarnason featuring the song Reyja.

Sam Amidon - How Come That Blood (live)

A live performance of Sam Amidon’s How Come That Blood. Footage shot in Brussels on the Bedroom Community’s Whale Watching Tour. Also featured in this piece are Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson.

Shot and edited by Pierre-Alain Giraud and Stuart Rogers.

Whale Watching 2010 Tour Trailer

Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson return with this wondrous concert-series through Europe, starting at Berlin’s Admiralspalast on the 18th April and ending in The National Theater in Reykjavík on 16th May. Also featuring Nadia Sirota.

Video by Pierre-Alain Giraud & Stuart Rogers.

Ben Frost - Híbakúsja

Performed during the Whale Watching Tour 2009, Brussels.
With Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson. Also featuring Nadia Sirota.
Video by Pierre-Alain Giraud & Stuart Rogers.

Draumalandið (Dreamland) Music Examples

Here are a few music examples from Draumalandið (Dreamland), a documentary about the exploitation of Iceland’s natural resources, tells a story about huge things—the fortunes of a whole nation; the destruction of vast landscapes; and the global economic forces, greater still than any nation, that fuel it all—and for his soundtrack to the film, Valgeir has brought out a heavier set of tools. His entire roster of Bedroom Community labelmates contributes in some way to the creation of the score: classical composers Nico Muhly and Daníel Bjarnason, industrial wizard Ben Frost, and American folksinger Sam Amidon, along with a host of others, and the small orchestra assembled for the record swells from moments of expansive beauty into massive, surging symphonic force. Its harmonies are anxious, pulsing, driven.

Valgeir Sigurðsson - Past Tundra

Whale Watching Tour 2009 in Leipzig.
Valgeir Sigurðsson with Sam Amidon, Ben Frost and Nico Muhly.
Also featuring Nadia Sirota.
Video by Stuart Rogers and Pierre-Alain Giraud.

Whale Watching Tour 2009

Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly and Valgeir Sigurðsson. Also featuring Nadia Sirota.
European tour November 2009.
Video by Pierre-Alain Giraud and Stuart Rogers.

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