Exclaim!'s Best of 2014: Top 10 Dance & Electronic



6. Ben Frost
A U R O R A
(Mute)

When Ben Frost released his last album, 2009's By the Throat, it seemed as if the Iceland-via-Australia noisemaker reached his brutal apex, as machinist rhythms and punishing melodic hues challenged even the most adventurous electronic music fan. But after a five-year layover that found him working within the musical constraints of composing movie scores (Stealing Beauty, In Her Skin), collaborating with dance companies (Wayne McGregor's Far) and directing musical theatre (The Wasp Factory), Frost's latest, A U R O R A, reshapes the emotional intensity of his music by moving inwards.

Eschewing his trademark cascading guitar and piano, Frost focuses on each song's fundamental core, utilizing rusted low-end effects and decaying drum rhythms (courtesy of Thor Harris of Swans and Greg Fox of Guardian Alien). In fact, much of the music found on A U R O R A is so well structured and contained that it somehow makes such cacophony sound primal and gorgeous. There's certainly beauty hidden within A U R O R A — you just have to travel through a few fiery levels of Hell to get to it. (Daniel Sylvester)