Born in 1980 in Melbourne, Australia, Ben Frost relocated to Reykjavík Iceland in 2005. Working closely with friends Valgeir Sigurðsson and Nico Muhly, he formed the Bedroom Community record label/collective. His albums, including Steel Wound (2003), Theory of Machines (2007) and BY THE THROAT (2009), A U R O R A (2014), V A R I A N T (2014) fuse intensely structured sound art with militant post-classical electronic music, shape-shifting physical power with immersive melody, concentrated minimalism with fierce, rupturing metal. This sees a special audio-visual show in collaboration with esteemed artist Marcel Webber (MFO), which features a highly creative production that makes for a stunning live show, following the release of Ben's new album "The Centre Cannot Hold" An RFB presentation as part of Convergence 2018.
In 2010, he was chosen by Brian Eno as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protegé program for a year of collaboration. Frost has worked as a producer on a number of studio albums, including Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath1972 and Virgins, SWANS’ The Seer, Colin Stetson’s New History Warfare, and on various Bedroom Community releases.
On the stage, Frost has produced scores for Choreographers including Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, Akram Khan, and german Director Falk Richter. In film, he composed the score for the Palme d ́Or nominated Sleeping Beauty by Julia Leigh, and Djúpið by Icelandic Director Baltasar Kormákur (with Daníel Bjarnason, for which the pair won the Icelandic film award for best score in 2013). 2013 also marked the premier of Frost’s first opera, based on Iain Bank´s infamous 1984 novel The Wasp Factory.
Frost brings his live show to Heaven, 16 March.
One of modern music’s most elusive experimentalists, Visionist has been colouring the monochrome landscape of electronic production since his breakthrough EP I’m Fine in 2013, dissolving all manner of genres down in order to create work to which these terms no longer apply. His artistic signature is to manipulate vocal content into dense, highly fabricated melodies, human sound reconfigured into a stark and beguilingly alien sublime.
Picking up where I’m Fine left off, in 2015 he released his debut album Safe via PAN records – described as “a personal portrait of anxiety” it dealt head on with issues of mental health – at a time when the music industry was only just beginning to open up to the discussion – and was described by Pitchfork as “a statement that feels not just a flexing of experimental techniques, but something rich and human, too”. Further critical praise for Visionist has come from the likes of Resident Advisor, Crack, SPIN, The Guardian, and Rolling Stone, who cited him as an ‘artist to watch’ in 2016.
In 2017 Visionist returns with new album Value, released via Big Dada / Ninja Tune. It explores complex interweaving ideas of artistic value and self-worth, while building on the distinct sound of previous releases. The project also features creative collaborations with influential Belgian artist Peter De Potter – on the album artwork and zine and Daniel Sannwald on the artist shots.
Through the addition for the first time of his own vocals, Visionist continues to further explore a humanistic and intimate creation. Value’s opener, Self-, sees him reimagine the vocal treatment with rapid injections, followed by crescendos of abrasive rhythm and waltz-like melodies, providing a diligent insight into the rest of the album. It’s this cross-infection of sonic landscapes and unpredictable movements that constantly question ostracisation.
For his live shows he will be accompanied by Film-maker and A/V artist Pedro Maia. Maia is known for his specific interest in working with analog film and addressing image by analysing the beauty of its patina and how it fades away as it’s doubly temporal substrate. The visuals will be achieved in collaboration with Teri Varhol, whose interest in chaos and absurdity results in work that is original, disturbing and surreally beautiful.