A U R O R A
Ben Frost’s mutant-techno meets drone/ambient has everything from the obvious touchstones (Eno, Apex, NIN) and so much more besides. Because where Frost excels, in a post-Burial world, is in the manipulation of noise, creating sound-blasts that are positively frightening, eerie, macabre, horror-film scores for a drug-tweaked mind. A U R O R A’s opening piece, Flex, is little more than a static wash until, for its climax, we feel – more so than hear – industrial percussion.
Nolan blasts into life, as if Burial was asked to remix/rework John Carpenter’s Starman score, but the almost-jubilation falls away into stumbling and tumbling as building blocks of sound cascade across the musical landscape. And then another surge.
The heart-stopping moments, as always with Frost’s music, arrive when the music is almost entirely subtracted from the equation – the eeriness of the shadowy sounds that circle the near-silence, The Teeth Behind Kisses, is the first true moment of glorious uneasiness on the new album.
Secant sees a percussive wall built from tribal measures, a near reverse of Nolan’s shambles, this is organised sound creeping – and that’s always the right word – towards music. By the end of this track it’s the best thing Trent Reznor will ever do. Better still because he never could – quite – bring himself toward this type of climax.
The closing track, A Single Point of Blinding Light, is the perfect snapshot for (almost) everything Frost can do within in one three-minute piece of music. Here is where he finally arrives at a type of dance-music. Though good look creating any kind of step for this. Best move, as always, is to bury yourself under the covers, strap on the headphones, keep your eyes on the door and pray for the next day to arrive as this rocks and torments your soul through the night.