Red Noise

Ben Frost in Trouw

Red Noise

17-05-2014 | 09.49

White fields, black trees, a night in winter. Black men, pink trees, blazing sun. Long marches, a state of alertness, wolves closing in. The feeling of dread, fear of something vague.

I once walked through the woods alone at night while listening to Ben Frost's album To The Throat. It was winter, the ground was white and trees were sticking up like black skeletons. Wolves were howling at a distance, growling in my ear the next moment. This music makes things appear in the corner of your eye. You turn around, but there is nothing. 

Ben Frost once walked through Congo, gathering field recordings for the soundtrack to Richard Mosse's documentary of the war-torn country. Mosse used infrared film which makes vegetation appear pink. Soldiers are walking through pink fields, yelling at civilians to get down on pink grass. Frost's bleak soundscapes deafen any illusions that might be left, the pink turns blood-red.

So why is this being presented in Trouw? Is this music for the club? Yes. Sometimes noise or experimental music is primarily concerned with unleashing sonic force. Which can be interesting, but, like functional club music, also can get boring. Frost does more than merely building and breaking walls of sound. In his pieces there are always hints of a narrative, which you may unfold in your own way. They allow you to get lost but never abandon you, just like good club music.

Ben Frost, Nisennenmondai & Luc Mast are playing at Trouw this Tuesday. Come by and get lost!

The Richard Mosse exhibition at FOAM can still be visited for the next two weeks.

Text: AM
Photo: "Richard Mosse, Platon, 2012, from The Enclave (Aperture, 2013). Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery."