Ben Frost // Live Review

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Corsica Studios – August 15th

During the scramble for tickets, information and bookings in the wake of the Jabberwocky Fallout, Baba Yaga’s Hut managed to pull together the weekend’s most cohesive show, Corsica Studios’ Friday night lineup of I Break Horses, Forest Swords and Ben Frost.

I Break Horses impressed on the large Atlantic Studios stage at ATP Iceland this summer, and were likely expecting to do the same at the ExCel centre this weekend, but found themselves playing at this far more intimate venue. It didn’t seem to be a problem for them though, far from it, as they mixed the shoegaze soundscape of earlier work with their newer material which pushes Maria Lindén’s haunting vocals into the foreground. There’s no doubt their UK following will grow as they play more shows in future.

Forest swords’ Matthew Barnes set up in his now-familiar fashion, side-on to the audience facing bass player Jay Freeman, and treated the audience to a set of his blend of treated vocal samples, clean piano sounds, crystalised saw-tooth guitars and dub beats well complemented by beautiful, immersive visuals of abstract footage of evocative black and white cinema which had the crowd entranced throughout.

Abandoning his two drummer set up, headliner Ben Frost embarked on a ferocious solo showing, weaving throbbing tribal percussions into his trademark sweeping waves of ambient and drone that left the densely packed crowd joyfully reeling. As the music continued to soar, members of the audience were bludgeoned with an unending, intense crescendo; pure walls of sound jolting and throbbing every atom in the space. A live experience unlike any other.