Sounds Like: A dance party held in Terminator 2's post-apocalyptic robot boneyard.
For Fans Of: Swans, Tim Hecker, Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Why You Should Pay Attention: The Australian-born composer has been releasing deep, punishing, nuanced dronework for more than a decade, but his debut release on Mute, A U R O R A, has garnered enough enthusiasm to snowball into the ambient event of the year. "I had this day a couple weeks ago where I think I literally talked about myself for almost 72 hours, and I couldn't look at myself in the mirror after it," he says. "I just wanted to crawl under the blankets and rock myself to sleep." It's easy to understand the excitement. Though Frost has been known to play guitars and write for string ensembles (he once turned the Orchestra of the Capital Royal City of Krakow into a buzzing cicada farm), A U R O R A explores a palette of sounds closer to electronic and industrial music – it's a 40-minute suite for synthetic VHS grind, backslurps, wistful Bladerunner gloop, howling white noise and broken Detroit techno – plus the bell-ringing and junkyard clanging of Swans percussion abuser Thor Harris.
He Says: "[I wanted to] kind of do away with what I began to see as the kind of crutches that I was starting to lean on, sonically: guitars, pianos, strings. I don't know, I'm just done with them. And trying to circumvent this new generation of Arvo Pärt [and] Górecki fans that got themselves a copy of Sibelius [music software] and decided to call themselves "composers." It's sad piano and some kind of electronic atmosphere, and then that's a record. I really, really felt this intense need to get as far away from that as possible, because that's not what I'm about. More than being some kind of negative reaction to that, [A U R O R A is] more of a positive step towards making myself uncomfortable again. Getting into that position where you don't exactly know what you're doing. So when you remove all these things that make you feel comfortable, then who are you?
Hear for Yourself: The foreboding, chiming wasteland of "Venter." By Christopher R. Weingarten