In 2009, electronic alt-pop duo Frost (Aggie Peterson and Per Martinsen) received a mysterious package in the mail. The small parcel was covered with Russian stamps, and inside they found a C60 audio cassette with a recording of some beautiful music underneath a wall of noise and static, abrupted between songs by a deep Russian voice. This recording became the main inspiration for their album ‘Radiomagnetic’.
Then, in 2012, after teaming up with local underground filmmaker Carl Critical with the intent of shooting a music video, they received an email from one Kostya Shamshin, a supposedly awarded Russian film director, with an invitation to make a documentary on the duo and their work. The strange catch about the invitation was that Shamshin requested that they do all the shooting themselves on his directions via email, and should then upload all the footage to him over the internet. An intriguing project indeed.
This led to Carl getting more involved than initially intended, and thus the process of documenting the period following the album completion began, with Carl following their every move in the autumn of 2012. A series of events then led to Per and Carl embarking on a journey to try to unveil the mysterious origins of the recording on the tape, a journey sparked by some rather worrying changes in Per’s personality as they kept on digging deeper into the matter.
A journey they both would rather have undone.
Returning from what had become a both disturbing and life-altering experience, Carl decided that he would have nothing more to do with the project, and uploaded all the footage he’d shot to Shamshin’s account, and then deleted the original files. The only footage he used for himself before deletion was included in the music video for FROST’s single ‘Something New’.
A few months later, a file was returned to his inbox from Shamshin, named ‘The Ghost Radio Hunter’. It turned out to be the finished ‘movie’, and included a voiceover in Russian, supposedly read by the director himself. Strangely enough the voice strongly resembled the voice from the recording on the original audio cassette.
To begin with, both the film and the voice stick to the ‘facts’ of the matter of the mystery, but after a while both the editing and storytelling drifts off in what more and more resembles a personal existential drama of sorts, featuring the rather unwilling personal roles of Per and Carl going through their startling experiences triggered by their inclusion into this project.
All attempts at tracking down Kostya Shamshin have since failed, and Carl even received a very official-looking letter in Russian that when translated turned out to be a ‘warning’ of sorts that were they to continue the search for the director the ‘safety of those involved could not be guaranteed’.
Neither Carl nor Per will take any creative responsability for the result showing at TIFF 2013.