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Morals and Dogma
"Deathprod, or Helge Sten as his name is, has been an important player since the beginning of Rune Grammofon. As a member of Supersilent he was part of the very first release in January 1998, Supersilent 1-3 (RCD 2001), and later the same year he and Biosphere remixed Arne Nordheim´s electronic works on the album Nordheim Transformed (RCD 2005). Born in 1971, he has worked under the name Deathprod since around 1990 in all his work as musician and producer. He was a member rock group Motorpsycho from 92 to 94 adding 'audio noise', theremin, keyboards and sound-collages to the band's hard rock. He has also worked extensively in theatre, dance, performance, art exhibitions and installations with particular emphasis on interactive media and improvisation. He has appeared as a player on some 20 albums and produced and/or engineered a further 80. Associates in diverse contexts have ranged from members of rock groups Swans, Mazzy Star and My Bloody Valentine to the contemporary music interpreters of the Cikada Ensemble. He lives and works in Oslo.
When talking about his work methods he has revealed that he often only uses one sound source for a track, and that he can elaborate on this sound for months until he´s completely satisfied. This attention to detail makes him quite unique and it´s difficult to compare him with specific contemporaries, but Biosphere and Thomas Köner comes to mind. From the Rune catalogue there´s the aforementioned remix album with Biosphere as well as Supesilent 5 (RCD 2018). Morals and Dogma is the new Deathprod album, the rightful follow-up to Treetop Drive and therefor given a separate release. Morals And Dogma, four pieces recorded intermittently between 1994 and 2000, is presented as music for the ceremonies of an imaginary secret society, a soundtrack to the arcane rituals of a fictitious freemasonry. Violins may evoke symbolism of the glass harmonica; harmonium may evoke the encoded mystical language of the organ. This is fertile ground for unearthing symbols and cracking codes.
The title Morals And Dogma appears proscriptive, yet it alludes to obscure knowledge cloaked in sonic shadows, action glimpsed indistinctly through acoustic drizzle and failing light. That indistinctness, however, is paradoxically vivid. As the glint or shine of minerals externalize their interior structure, the shimmer and glow of this music registers the inner life of sounds and corresponding interconnectedness of our sensory responses to them. At the primeval level of perception, according to Merleau-Ponty, 'experience is so ambiguous that the rhythm of a sound brings about the merging of cinematographic images and creates space that allows for a perception of movement'. Such experience depends on 'acoustic sustenance'. This music supplies such sustenance, the image flow, the play of textures.
Morals And Dogma is a potent distillation of Deathprod music, simultaneously concentrated and diffuse, mining seams of potentiality in mood and slow movement, at once finely detailed and vast, microscopic and boundless, breaking open temporal cells to access zones of timelessness."