It might be difficult to believe, but I don’t think the fest booked Ben Frost solely on the magnificence of his beard alone. No, the Australian turned Icelander has ambient music types fanning themselves and reaching for the smelling salts thanks to his noisy, aggressive yet oddly delicate new album A U R O R A (out this week on Mute). His cover story in the latest issue of The Wire sings the praises of his face-meltingly loud shows, though unlike your SunnO))s and your Raimes, what we’ve heard thus far of Frost’s newest phase is structured and melodic enough to engage the heart and the brain while driving rusty nails of white noise into the ear drums. Come to think of it, Iceland really is the perfect setting for Frost’s music; both are beautiful, sometimes punishing and come with epic beards.
(It pains me a little to suggest you skip Richie Hawtin and his M_nus crew at Metropolis to see this admittedly nerdy stuff, but you’ll want to pace yourself for Audion on Friday.)