Autobiographical Order No. 295: Ben Frost – A U R O R A

I’ll let you in on a little secret about how this system works: I keep a running list of the albums in my collection on a Google Doc, and every time I buy something new, or someone gives me something or what have you, I just add it to the end of the list. I also leave a blank space every time a new year starts. This started after I began blogging, however, so the first, oh, two-hundred and something were best estimates. By which I mean they’re pretty close. Some might be swapped around a little, but they’re really close—and that was sort of the point, charting my life through records and all that.

So on the doc, there’s a “300” next to this album. You’ll notice that the number at the top of this entry is not 300, however, it’s 295. Why is that? Well, I’ve sold a couple of records that didn’t live up to my standards (replaced by better versions—I’ll explain some of that later). And the other reason for that is that I probably counted wrong. I didn’t become a writer because I could count. Because I can’t. It’s just not what I do.

But that’s OK. For some reason Ben Frost doesn’t feel like a 300 record. Don’t get me wrong, he’s amazing. A U R O R A is one of my favorite albums of 2014, an intense, powerful electro-industrial album that sounds like the end of the world in the best way. It’s a beautiful album, it’s a terrifying album, but by god, what an album it is. It also features some percussion from Thor Harris of Swans/Shearwater (who is a really nice guy! I met him once when my band opened for Thor & Friends, which was a fun show if not a really well promoted one). I highly implore people to check this out if they have an interest in dark/loud music that’s more on the abstract and weird end of things.

In fact, this album ended up introducing me to more of Ben Frost’s music, and his album By the Throat from a couple years prior is a personal favorite as well. Likewise, Frost did the score for the German TV show Dark, which is fitting. The show is, well, dark. (ha!)

But is this worthy of the balloon with the big 300 in block letters? Well it’s just a number so it kind of doesn’t matter. But it feels like it should be a landmark like, say, Born to Run or Pet Sounds. But I already blogged about those. (Spoiler: It’s still not a “this is your life” album, but I do have a lot to say about it.) So, 300, 295, whatever. If you want to blow your mind, put A U R O R A on the turntable, turn it up, lay back and listen to the world catch fire.

PS – how sweet is that transparent yellow vinyl, eh?

Rating: 9.2

Sound Quality: Great

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