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Broken Spectre

by Ben Frost

supported by
Jonathon Tomlinson
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Jonathon Tomlinson I watched the film that this accompanies this evening at 180 Stand (London) sitting on the floor of the darkened basement while images of Ben and Richard's journey into the heart of darkness played on 4 wide screens. I watched held hostage by scenes of horror, interspersed with the psychedelic beauty of microflora on ultraviolet film. listening at home (too lazy and impatient to play the vinyl) the images - flash backs - are triggered by the sounds. Best listened to very loud,
Dano Williams
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Dano Williams This album, while mostly successful, is only one part of the larger Broken Spectre project documenting the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Seek out Richard Mosse's book. It is truly spectacular, heartbreaking, and terrifying.
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The Index 05:30


“Over the past 3 years, Richard Mosse, Trevor Tweeten and myself traversed the Amazon documenting its destruction. The results of that documentation would eventually become Richard’s new film Broken Spectre.

During that period I witnessed fires so vast they blacked out the sun. I watched illegal-loggers fell 700 year-old trees, and heard the unnerving silence of the forest that followed. I saw mercury poisoning rivers, and vast swathes of forest decimated for the promise of a few flecks of gold by young miners illegally seeking their fortune in Indigenous territories. I recorded volunteer veterinarians treating third degree burns on the paws of an anesthetised Jaguar; injuries inflicted by emboldened ranchers seeking to produce more beef for export on the smoldering remains of her wetland home. All because ‘man shall have dominion’.

To witness this systematic destruction firsthand was to travel back in time, and reflect upon the scarred landscapes of Europe, the US and particularly for me; Australia. It is a safe bet that wherever you are reading this, there was not long ago a vast forest reaching out above you and as far as the eye can see, vast ecosystems erased and buried under concrete. We live in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Our complicity in the ongoing destruction of the Amazon is undeniable and to save it what is required is nothing less than a tectonic shift in perspective and urgent, radical support of the people of Brazil to preserve what remains of that which we have failed to protect ourselves.

This album is ultimately a document of failure. A failure of our democracies, a failure of political will, a failure of imagination, and creatively, my own failure to communicate through sound the vast scale of the Amazon and the ongoing damage inflicted upon it by the policies of Jair Bolsonaro. This album is an indictment of his regime, but also of ourselves. It is a witness statement, an artwork born inside an artwork that draws upon a continuously inspiring, decade-long collaboration with Richard and Trevor, and is my best attempt at a tribute to the natural world from which it came and in that regard it may well be one of my better ones.”


released December 5, 2022

Mastered by Christian Wright at Abbey Road Studios

Broken Spectre was recorded on location in remote parts of the Amazon Basin along the BR-230 Trans-Amazonian Highway in the Brazilian states of Rondônia, Amazonas and Pará, as well as along the BR-163 (the ’soybean highway’) in Mato Grosso.
Further recordings originate from Yanomami Territory and Munduruku
Territory; on the Amazon, Crepori, Madeira, Pastaza, São Lourenço, Tapajos, Uraricoera, and Xingu rivers; as well as in the Pantanal wetlands, the capital city Brasilia, and the Llanganates–Sangay Ecological Corridor in Ecuador.

Audio was captured using a combination of a quarter inch analogue tape and an untrasonic recording system desgned to capture ultra-high frequency sound, undetectable by the human ear. This frequency spectrum, repitched several octaves lower so as to be audible, reveals the hidden communications of bats, birds and insects. Over 90% of the animal biomass in the rainforest communicates at wavelengths beyond the range of human hearing.

Broken Spectre, made between 2018 and 2022, is a collaboration between photographer Richard Mosse, cinematographer Trevor Tweeten, and composer Ben Frost. The project was co-commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, VIA Art Fund and the Westridge Foundation, and by Serpentine Galleries. Additional support provided by Collection SVPL and Jack Shainman Gallery.

Design by Loose Joints Studio
Artwork by Richard Mosse

© ℗ 2022 Ben Frost under licence to Vinyl Factory Productions Ltd


all rights reserved



Ben Frost

The music of Ben Frost is about contrast; influenced as much by Classical Minimalism as by Punk Rock and Metal, Frost's throbbing guitar-based textures emerge from nothing and slowly coalesce into huge, forbidding forms that often eschew conventional structures in favor of the inevitable unfoldings of vast mechanical systems. ... more

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