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. n film he composed the score for the Palme d’Or nominated Sleeping Beauty by Julia Leigh, and Djúpið by Icelandic Director Baltasar Kormákur (with Daníel Bjarnason). And in the visual arts, where, with artist Richard Mosse, Frost travelled 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.

2013 also marked his debut as a director with the première of Frost’s first Opera, based on Iain Bank´s infamous 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

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

"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

"...in 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

Media

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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.

Latest News

Discography

A U R O R A
Released on 26 May 2014
Order now

BY THE THROAT
Released on 9 November 2009
Order now

Theory of Machines
Released on 5 February 2007
Order now

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Upcoming events

Apr 23

'FAR' at NAC - music by Ben Frost
National Arts Centre
Ottawa (Canada)

Apr 26

Ben Frost@Convergence
Village Underground
London (United Kingdom)

Apr 26

'FAR' at Byham Theater - music by Ben Frost
Byham Theater
Pittsburgh (United States)

May 1

'FAR' at the Kennedy Center - music by Ben Frost ( 1 May - 3 May )
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington (United States)

May 2

FAR, music by Ben Frost.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Washington (United States)

On the web

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