Since his earliest days, Ben Frost has been fascinated by the cinematic qualities of the guitar. His output to this point has hinted at this, but with Steelwound he makes a bold statement of intent. Finding his way to a deserted stretch of Johanna Beach along the Great Ocean Road (Victoria, Australia) in early 2003 Frost set up a remote studio at a derelict cabin overlooking the icy waters of Bass Strait. With a constant wind flowing off the sea his only companion, Frost started work on a series of improvisations that would eventually become Steelwound. A few months go by and Frost has made his way back to civilization. He begins editing the masses of treated guitar from the Johanna Beach improvisations and before long a theme takes hold - one that very much reflects the isolation of the environment where the tracks were created. Each of the pieces on Steelwound is a epic journey, coloured with a deep sense of filmic narrative and suggested dialogues. The textural quality of the works, laced with field recordings and lost vocal fragments, sketches out the emotional soundscapes Frost had unwittingly gathered during his time at Johanna Beach. Each piece is a splintered fragment in time - a forgotten memory beautifully rediscovered in a moment of introspection.
This year Room40 celebrates 15 years of editions and events. As part of the celebrations we are re-issuing a number of editions in various formats that are out of print. One of these editions brings together two of the pieces we’ve had the pleasure to publish by Tim Hecker. These two works were both created in conjunction with visits by Tim to Australia and were released in limited quantities. The 7” edition of Apondalifa basically vanished upon release. It was also originally split across a 7”. On this new edition, cut by the wondrous LUPO at Calyx, the piece is available on vinyl for the first time in its extended format. Tim remains a dear friend to us, and an inspiration! We’re glad to be revisited these astounding pieces and making them both available in this format for the first time!
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