2007 was a landmark year for "electronic" music. I was completely floored by a relatively unknown (at the time) producer named Ben Frost an his (then) new opus, "Theory Of Machines". As I stated in my review, "..The smartest electronic album I own.." to this day that holds true. However, in close second, would be "By The Throat" Ben Frost's first full length release since his 2007 opus. Please, please, do yourself a BIG favor, go out and buy a decent pair of headphones (as if you don't already own any), buy this album, and let your imagination go. Warning: Do NOT listen to this album if you are spooked easily.
I didn't know what to expect with this release, it seemed that with "Theory Of Machines" the title spoke miles for the music. Very electronic (and somehow organic too), daunting, and precisely made factory noise/emotion. Does that mean with "By The Throat" I should expect an intense amount of dark/pure anger, dramatic swells and slams, and maybe tones/sounds that could make me pee myself (just a little anyways)? Yes, yes it does. "By The Throat" begins with a track drenching in fear, howling wolves/other goose bump driven samples, and what seems like a bit of a warning sigh to the listener ..At this point you are still safe, you are right outside the walls ..any further, and it becomes a tragedy. The narrative will give you the sense of character trying to escape from torture & lament, without a way out. They may get a few moments to stop and catch their breathe, but they can never stop looking behind them, ever. Evil is lurking around every note/droney noise with great wrath and furious vengeance. On "Hibakusja" you get the sense of a giant/gnarly beast breathing down your neck, just waiting for you to run away so he can get some exercise before he devours you. On "Peter Venkman Part II", it seems our character has given up and become a part of his environment. What's the point? There is no winning anyways. But maybe, what's this? .."Through The Glass Of The Roof", someone (or something) is fighting back, our character still has some "fight" left in him/her. You can only push a man so much before he falls to his own anger and pushes back. You were warned, now he's pissed, and you've just been watching him.. You never tried to help him at all. What the hell is wrong with you? You asked for it, his nightmare is only the beginning of yours... You are now a part of his world, you are stuck. You can not pull away. Welcome to the scariest/most fierce horror film you will ever hear.
Go consume, go, Now. If you like music that challenges your every sense and emotion, this scare was made for you.. Guest musicians include; Valgeir Sigurðsson, Amiina, The Arcade Fire's Jeremy Gara, Swedish metal group Crowpath, and composer Nico Muhly. THIS is how "ambient" albums make up for "lack of words" with more emotion and intelligence than any human could ever capture with words. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Standout Tracks: ALL. The whole album unfolds like a dark horror story based on the creepiest woods you could ever stumble upon. Each chapter(song) carries the story into deeper & darker territories.. (but if I had to pick) "Leo Needs A New Pair Of Shoes"