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Theory of Machines

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Audio CD, March 6, 2007
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Theory Of Machines 9:30$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Stomp 8:26$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. We Love You Michael Gira 7:49$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Coda 1:37$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Forgetting You Is Like Breathing Water11:13$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Born in 1980 in Melbourne, Australia, Frost relocated to Reykjavík Iceland in 2005 and working together with close friends Valgeir Sigurðsson and Nico Muhly, formed the Bedroom Community record label/collective.

His albums, including Steel Wound (2003), Theory of Machines (2007) and BY THE THROAT (2009) fuse intensely structured sound art with militant post-classical ... Read more in Amazon's Ben Frost Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bedroom Community
  • ASIN: B000MTP70M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,753 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This is Frost's first release for the Icelandic Bedroom Community Label. At 26 he has already released such critically-lauded works as 2003's guitar exploration LP, Steel Wound on the Room40 Label, which Pitchfork Media USA marked as "An exemplary ambient experience", and the harrowing, self-titled 2005 opus School of Emotional Engineering, which Db Magazine called "...An atmospheric masterpiece". In addition to his solo work, Frost produces his work internationally in various forms including gallery-based installations, scores commissioned for film, dance and multimedia productions (for the likes of The Icelandic Dance Company and as part of A/V installation collective Cicada) and collaborative works, remixes and productions for artists such as Bj”rk, Steintryggur, Neotropic, Lawrence English, Stars Like Fleas and Ai Yamamoto. A resident of Iceland, Ben Frost operates primarily in Greenhouse Studios in Reykjav¡k under the wing of producer and founder of the Bedroom Community label/collective Valgeir Sigurdsson. Theory of Machines fully exploits the sonic resources of this unique environment with collaborators such as Valgeir and Sigtryggur Baldursson (The Sugarcubes). 2007.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Headphone Commute on December 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can only describe Theory of Machines as ambient hardcore. Australian born Ben Frost builds walls of noise that rise steadily and slowly, and come crashing down on command. Now residing in Reykjavik, Frost exploits all of the extreme properties of sound. Psychologically raw, punishing, and overdriven guitars, with reverberated pads and rhythms mutate into the white noise and back, sending chills that originate deep from within the ear canal and slide down to the toenails. Frost often made me scratch my ear canal and occasionally get up to check the monitors that sounded blown out, emitting graceful static. Coming from a rock background, and being a member of a band called School of Emotional Engineering, Frost is not particularly interested in electronic music, and rather relies heavily on dark minimalism and industrial noise to compose truly one of the most interesting and irreversible memory imprints of the year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By somethingexcellent VINE VOICE on April 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
When friends of mine kept recommending Ben Frost, I knew that it was an artist I should seek out (as my friends most often know more than I do), and after hearing his album Theory Of Machines, I'm glad that I did. The second release on the fledgling Bedroom Community label, it's also the third release from Frost, and finds him pushing even further into powerful audio explorations that sounds something like Tim Hecker with occasionally punishing rhythms. He examines textures and timbres in lovely, and sometimes disturbing ways over the course of five tracks and just under forty minutes, mixing pastoral beauty with gut-churning blasts in other places.

The album-titled opener "Theory Of Machines" sets the tone with a super-slow build of filtered guitar that's almost crystalline in places. Eventually, slow-morphing sludgy bass enters the mix and the track builds to a powerful climax of screaming guitars and overdriven beats about two-thirds of the way through before melting into ambience again. "Stomp" follows, and takes a slightly different direction, with programmed beat thumps banging across a more barren landscape while distance waves of noise only creep into the foreground during a crunchy ending.

"We Love You Michael Gira" conveys a similar sense of dread as many tracks on the album, and this time Frost pulls it off by again barely keeping waves of feedback under control for the first half of the track before letting loose with a repeating high tone (that resembles a medical device warning sound) and some beats that are absolutely coated in feedback and on the verge of breaking down. A string coda at the end of the song does nothing to lighten the mood.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Thistle on July 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Ben Frost constructs and then deconstructs ambient electronics. Theory of Machines' 5 tracks play as a narrative of teaming beauty and destruction and must be heard as a whole. Isolating single tracks is like reading random chapters out of a book, you loose their relevance without context. Frost's music is for machinery, for switchboards and factories, for oil consuming retrograde robot soldiers from the future. Yet with all this mechanics of it, Theory of Machines is not an industrial record. Frost's techniques are rooted in Fenneszian textures, The Wind-Up Bird's electronic blips and Michael Gira's pure sonic power. Frost's robots have pumping, bleeding hearts that flow to the surface after the chaos as in the album closer "Forgetting You is Like Breathing Water" where a beautiful string motif swells to its bursting point. Theory of Machines is power electronics of the most soaringly winning nature. Highly recommended for the adventurous.
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