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  • Norway

Artist Biography

Based in Oslo, Norway, composer Helge Sten has been crafting this music since the early 90s, a deeply atmospheric, grainy minimalism that slows time down and explores the very particles of sound itself. The Deathprod concept arose in 1991 when Sten realized his complex array of homemade electronics, samplers, sound processing and analogue effects – cumulatively known as the “Audio Virus” – could add a musical dimension above and beyond the merely technical. Almost obsolete samplers and playback devices distort and transform sounds into unrecognizable mutations of their former selves. The virus breeds layers of complex and overlapping sonic debris, creating a kind of cellular composition. Sten is a founding member of Norwegian improvising group Supersilent and has produced records by Motorpsycho, Susanna, Jenny Hval, Arve Henriksen and others. In 1998, alongside Biosphere, he electronically transformed the music of Norway’s leading contemporary composer, Arne Nordheim. More recently he composed music for Harry Partch’s legendary invented instruments for the Cologne based EnsembleMusikfabrik.

Selected Press

Deathprod's music also resonates with the work of early Faust, the gestural paintings of Franz Kline, the outsider music of Nurse With Wound and the isolationist ambience of Thomas Koner. Pieces generally alternate between stark solidity and the darkly ethereal. With the former Deathprod successfully resists the impulse to embellish, with the latter he gradually applies and dissolves dark clouds of sound, like some sort of vaporous alchemist. The most active pieces are also the least easily defined, they're the ones characterised by cloudform, event edges blurred by the sonic equivalent of sea mists or dense aquatint. This music is saturnine without falling into misanthropy; look elsewhere for dissimulation, Deathprod's music is a rare, alternately invigorating and haunting experience.
Signal To Noise (UK)
Helge Sten, known solo as Deathprod and grouped as Supersilent, has spent over 13 years stripping bare his Norwegian homeland sound: carried over winter darkness, twisted with post Tony Conrad violin scree, laid bare with glacial sense of time... references La Monte Young's overtones, loud quiet-scapes, and stubborn slowness. Hearing its misted outlines of distant work and drone, maybe human, maybe automated, has all the creepiness of realizing you're a voyeur among the secret lives of objects.
Village Voice (US)
….dark musing, austerely brooding, mind-noodling music.
Igloo (US)
Almost ambient at low volume, with the amplifier turned up these dark resonating wells of sound have even more beneath the surface to reward the adventurous listener.
Mojo (UK)
Sten often uses just one sound source, endlessly manipulated, but its drones and surges manage to be emotionally resonant and musically satisfying too.
The Observer (UK)
Deathprod's burgeoning drones move relentlessly forward at glacial pace, while ominous crashing and echoes of ghostly choirs are heard from the horizon. For some it may teeter on the portentous, but it´s a vision well realised, a vast and patient music...
The Wire (UK)