Francesco Fabris, Ben Frost - Vakning
Over the last 20 years, Lawrence English’s Room40 imprint has become an unmistakable force in the landscape of experimental, electronic, and electroacoustic music, enveloping a vast global network that extends far beyond its Australian roots. Its sprawling catalog of releases, currently numbering into the hundreds, traverses an incredibly diverse range of highly individual practices, spanning numerous generations, guided by an eye for innovation and artists that venture off the beaten path. Within their output, Room40 has displayed a particular dedication to work rooted in the practice of field recording, the driving force behind the sounds encountered across their latest LP, “Vakning”, by the duo of Francesco Fabris and Ben Frost. Recorded in Iceland, encountering a living, material planet in its most dynamic and unrestrained form, delivered by the deft hands of careful artistry, this limited edition LP - housed in a matte laminate and monochrome printed sleeve, with printed inner - is an absolutely stunning immersion into a raw and transformative world of sound.
Both currently residing in Iceland, Francesco Fabris and Ben Frost have been carving their own singular worlds of sound exploration for decades. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Frost is renowned for a solo practice rooted in minimalist, experimental endeavours that draw heavily upon punk and black metal, as well as for his collaborations with figures as diverse as Björk, Tim Hecker, Colin Stetson, and Swans. Fabris is a sound artist, composer and musician working with live electronics, sound, light and intermedia installations, rooted in the depiction of sound and visual forms out of a naturalistic context, often filtered by machine driven techniques. “Vakning” is Fabris and Frost’s first effort as a duo, joining their unique focuses on sound into a single force.
Lawrence English describes “Vakning” as: “volcanic ruptures [that] speak to the very living geology of Earth. These recordings, captured at close range, exist at a nexus where liquid rock becomes solid. They capture moments of transformation, of obliteration and of creation, often all at once.”
Comprising seven discrete compositions, each guised in a fittingly cryptic (and yet possibly literal) title, the album rides a fascinating line between abstraction and precise imagism, unfolding with pointillistic detail: sounds of wind, water, and the landscape of Iceland at large, folding into and onto of themselves, to paint something otherworldly from the natural world.
Remarkably immersive and deeply engaging, without ever making claims about what it is or what we are intended to encounter and experience, Fabris and Frost’s “Vakning” is contemporary, experimental field recording practice at its outermost edge, dancing the line between environmentalism, sonic ecology, anthropology, and radically forward-thinking creative practice.
Issued by Room40 in twp beautiful editions, respectively on clear and black vinyl, housed in a matte laminate and monochrome printed sleeve, with printed inner, this is one not to be missed.