Live Review: Ben Frost

16 January 2015 | 4:32 pm | Imogen Elliot

Ben Frost has the MOFO faithful seeing stars.

Ben Frost is kind of frightening. Known for blowing the heads off his audiences, Frost slays his victims with computers, guitars and lights.

Performing on the first night of MOFO, at Princess Wharf 1, the Australian-born, Iceland-based producer delivered a killer multimedia performance that showcased the changing relationship between humans, technology and art in the contemporary creative landscape.

Frost opened his set with screeching guitar feedback, paralysing the brains of the audience before they even realised he was on stage. Blinded by seizure-inducing white lights Frost was barely visible to the crowd, just a silhouetted figure with his head kept down and a guitar slung over his shoulder.

This lack of engagement with the audience had an objectifying effect. It was as though Frost was a part of the technology he was playing with, just another operating system like the laptops and sound boards that were strewn before him on stage.

Performing tracks from his fifth studio album, last year’s A U R O R A, which combines post-classical electronica with heavy percussion, Frost unleashed a sonic monster, complete with guttural animal roars and sonic gun shots, and had the audience writhing around like worms on a beating drum while he filled every space with heart-splitting bass, subtle melodies and thumping beats.

Known for his boundary-pushing, Frost’s work was more art installation than electro concert. With a screen behind him depicting geometric shapes and a broken television transmission, the audience was seeing stars by the end of the performance and did their best to stumble out of the venue without tripping over islands of revellers collapsed on trademark MOFO beanbags.