Review: Frost – Radiomagnetic
Published on October 14th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
If you’re unacquainted with the fascinating source of inspiration for Frost’s new album Radiomagnetic, then we urge you to read this before luxuriating in this collection of darkly alluring ‘poptronica’, as it shall henceforth be known (at least on these pages).
Aggie Peterson’s sleek, airy vocals are ideally suited to Per Martinsen’s popping and clicking beats, felty synth interjections (syntherjections?) and probing bass lines, especially when Peterson’s voice is rendered suitably ghostly by some strange wibbly effect on “Head Held High”…
…and indeed the autotune on “The Magician”, which – lo and behold! – which is used to mess up the vocals rather than repair them. Quite malevolent-sounding, and very effective it is too. It’s arguably the spazzy sax freak-out to the “Careless Whisper” solo of the predominant modern use of autotune, although to be fair its cheesy nostalgia upside makes “Careless Whisper” seem like sodding Pet Sounds compared to the predominant modern use of autotune.
“The Woods” wields sublimely shuddering squelches of distorted ambient synth chords, and an irresistibly sleek pop chorus cut around Peterson’s ace fluttery vocal melody; ’tis a fine track indeed, bringing to mind for Rocksucker the most recent albums by Saint Etienne and Oh Land.
“Parade”‘s weird deal is sealed by a looping drum ‘n’ bass line, “Running Out of Time” is a simply sublime cosmic rave-up, “Passing By” ’80s pop held triumphantly aloft to the sun, while the cheap innuendo of “Sex Shooter” is starkly countered by the paranoid soundscapery going on in its background; it’s totally unhinged, and all the more welcome a presence on the album for it.
Finally, “Mad Ship” pops, clicks, shudders and swooshes a Zorro Z in the air with synth, bringing the iron curtain down on a strong pop record with a really quite striking broader context. A warm reception for Frost, it is.
Rocksucker says: Four out of Five!
Radiomagnetic is out now on FrostWorld Recordings. For more information, please visit frostnorway.com