*Limited blue vinyl.* Mute is proud to announce The Centre Cannot Hold, the fifth album from acclaimed
composer Ben Frost, his first since 2014’s landmark A U R O R A.
The album was recorded over ten days by Steve Albini in Chicago. The music
exists not in space, but in a space; it is a document of an event, of a room, and
of the composer within it. It is music that is not fully controlled and appears to be
anxiously, often violently competing against its creator. It is an attempt to materialise
a kind of liquid music.
In collaborating with Albini, Frost - an artist whose command of sound design lies
at the heart of his practice - chooses a new kind of raw immediacy and directness
in his work. Focusing solely on the performance of his music he hands the reigns of
the studio recording process to Albini in relentless pursuit of Theseus’ paradox; the
question of whether a ship restored by replacing every single part remains the same
The Centre Cannot Hold is not a literal description of the current political climate.
But the music has arisen out of a period of global upheaval which the title inevitably
alludes to. Taken from W.B. Yeats’ poem The Second Coming, it reads: ‘Things fall
apart; the centre cannot hold/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/ The blooddimmed
tide is loosed, and everywhere/ The ceremony of innocence is drowned….’
The titles of many of the pieces on the album – All That You Love Will Be Eviscerated,
Trauma Theory, or Entropy in Blue – could channel that feeling. Ionia wants to pull
us directly into the seas of southern Europe and Eurydice’s Heel references a Greek
myth in which a single event unleashes a sequence of unstoppable tragedies. The
Centre Cannot Hold is a probing question as much as a statement of fact.
An exercise in limitation and chromatic saturation, The Centre Cannot Hold is an
attempt at transcribing a spectrum of glowing ultramarines into sound. It forbids
casual engagement, but rather seeks to engulf those who encounter it.