Ben Frost Commonwealth, Calgary AB, June 24

Ben Frost Commonwealth, Calgary AB, June 24
Photo: Steve Louie
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Like many other genres, the trouble with live experimental music is that it's often not designed for a live setting. A perfected preset or diligent drone might be transcendent in your favourite chair with a pair of nice headphones, but it still boils down to you watching someone fiddle with knobs through a mediocre PA in a live setting. Ben Frost transcends that.

Anyone who's heard Frost knows he's in a category all his own, and that energy certainly translated well into the live setting. Sure, there was knob fiddling, but also skull-crushing guitar drones and live drums from Swans member Thor Harris, whose loose playing added a human element to the heavy, bassed-out kick samples.

That's not to mention the times that Frost's set did resemble a more standard sampler noise musician's setup. Thanks to his dynamic compositions and his willingness to push the club's sound system to its limits, the entire room was in the palm of his hands.