Norwegian noise artist Helge Sten a.k.a. DEATHPROD brings his sensory overload to the region for the first time, having just released his obliterating first album in 15 years, Occulting Disk, via Smalltown Supersound last year. A favourite of Will ‘Bonnie Price Billy’ Oldham who says in the sleevenotes that he enjoys listening to Deathprod with his Mum and that “I used to hear love in music until I learned to hear love in sound”, Sten is also a founder member of Norway’s improvising behemoth Supersilent. Often described as ambient, Sten’s take on ambience is one of gargantuan ethereality and sonic heft, hewn from the emissions of his table top of home-made and modified electronics, oscillators, Theremins, ring modulators and tape machines. Boomkat say of the new album, “Occulting Disk is an unmissable jump-off point into supernatural, metaphysical dimensions” and Deathprod’s sonics through Sage’s superb sound system combined with the work of his lighting engineer and lasers will make Sten’s performance an overwhelming aural and visual spectacle.
Or in the words of Helge Sten himself –
February 1992 Deathprod produced a video project which was never released to the public. This specific video work was an attempt to utilize some of the same methods for producing visuals as when recording music; slowing down time and layer feedback loops into abstract shapes and forms, using light instead of audio frequencies. The video material was taped using several VHS video recorders, utilizing nothing but optical distortion and the inherent poor resolution of the format. Excerpts of the 22 minute video material was edited into a shorter version, containing music that was deemed substandard at the time. The project was archived without further development.
There is a sense of disconnect often present in the current wave of live streaming concerts and performances, not seeming like an appropriate space to explore the art form of in person live musical performance presentations. In which case, when (Deathprod) was asked to participate in the virtual edition of the TUSK festival, it was important to present a work that would connect to the context of this art form he feels relates most accurately. Consequently, after researching his archives, the 1992 VHS master was located and subsequently transferred to a digital format for this project. The synced music was recorded between March and September 2020 in Frankfurt, Oslo and Kristiansand.