Terrorbird

Ben Frost Threshold of Faith


Release Date 07/27/2017

Mute

An exercise in restraint, endurance, and chromatic saturation, Threshold of Faith is an attempt at transcribing a spectrum of glowing ultramarine into sound. It forbids casual engagement, but rather seeks to engulf those who encounter it.

The album was recorded over ten days by Steve Albini in Chicago. The music exists not in space, but in a space; it is a document of an event, of a room, and of the composer within it. It is music that is not fully controlled and appears to be anxiously, often violently competing against its creator. It is an attempt to materialise a kind of liquid music.

In collaborating with Albini, Frost chooses a new immediacy and raw directness. As an artist whose command of sound design lies at the heart of his practice, by placing himself primarily in the role of live performer and handing the studio recording process over to Albini, Frost continues pursuit of Theseus’ paradox; the question of whether a ship restored by replacing every single part remains the same ship.

Threshold of Faith is not a literal description of the current political climate. But the music has arisen out of a period of global upheaval which the title inevitably alludes to. ‘Ionia’ wants to pull us directly into the seas of southern Europe and ‘Eurydice’s Heel’ references a Greek myth in which a single event unleashes a sequence of unstoppable tragedies.

Woven together into an expanse, Threshold of Faith feels like it’s being torn at from above and below; this can be heard in the shuddering pulses that infuse the record and in the frequent sense that a signal coming from afar is being repeatedly shoved back into the depths. Images of water saturate and occasionally flood Ben Frost’s fifth studio album; deep, tidal currents can be heard pulsing below crystalline surface disturbances and suspension only briefly gives way to resolution; and when it does, it’s like emerging alive, from a freezing sea.

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