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if you are looking for an ambient / electronic companion album to the magnificent sunn o))) 'monoliths and dimensions' record then look no further. ben frost represents one of today's new breed of musicians who conjures an aural broth that inhabits an amorphous cross-section of genres. it's impossible to truly classify where he is coming from musically but it would be safe to say his fans would also have records from sunn o))), fennesz, tim hecker, thomas koner and murcof lurking in their collection. to call him an experimental electronic musician brings no justice whatsoever. 'by the throat' is blood red and cloaked in shadow. produced in iceland by ben frost and valgeir sigursson (bjork, coco rosie, bonnie 'prince' billy), 'by the throat' features performances by amiina of sigur ros fame, the arcade fire's jeremy gara, swedish metal outfit crowpath and composer nico muhly. aside from the purely musical language of harmony and melody, like amiina's strings on 'leo needs a new pair of shoes', there's the level of musique concrete; the weaving of non musical sounds into the musical fabric. we hear the snarling of wolves and the groaning of lions in 'killshot' and the microscopic clicking and whirring of hunting killer whales in 'through the roof of your mouth'. then there's the sheer physical experience, the literally visceral effect of frost's seismic rhythms and high-pitched shrieks on your body. these extra-harmonic elements are not just effects to punctuate the musical narrative in 'by the throat', but are integral, unifying motifs.
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