FACT mix 602: Deathprod

Dark ambient master Deathprod takes us on an eerie journey into the past.

“I probably wouldn’t make this kind of music if I was living in the Bahamas,” Helge Sten, aka Deathprod, told FACT in 2014. Certainly, his Norwegian location makes sense when you pore over the pitch-black drones and spine-chilling landscapes of 1994’s Treetop Drive or 2004’s Morals and Dogma.

Sten’s trilogy of dark ambient classics have just been issued on vinyl for the first time this year and they’ve been a long time coming. The first Deathprod release, Deep Throat Puke Orgasms, emerged in 1991 on self-released cassette and introduced a select few listeners to Sten’s peculiar, home-spun sound.

After that, he released three more solo full-lengths – Treetop Drive, Imaginary Songs from Tristan da Cunha and Morals and Dogma, all of which were compiled on 2004’s acclaimed box set Deathprod. And while he might not sound particularly prolific from this output, Sten has also been racking up the releases as part of experimental improv outfit Supersilent and engineering for the Rune Grammofon label.

Sten’s FACT mix is almost expectedly unusual – instead of rustling together a sequence of ambient tracks that mirror his finest moments, he has instead raided the vaults, putting together a selection of crackling folk music, early country and vintage electronic music.

Treetop Drive, Imaginary Songs from Tristan da Cunha and Morals and Dogma are out now on vinyl via Smalltown Supersound.

Tracklist:

01. Frank Proffitt – ‘Rye Whiskey’ (Folk-­Legacy Records)
02. Ella Jenkins – ‘I´m Gonna Tell God All My Troubles’ (Folkways Records)
03. Tod Dockstader – ‘Piece 2’ (Folkways Records)
04. Earl Robinson – ‘My True Love’ (Folkways Records)
05. Vester Jones – ‘Cluck Old Hen’ (Folkways Records)
06. Karl Philipp Emmanuel Bach – ‘Sonata in G minor’ (Folkways Records)
07. Henry Cowell – ‘Aeolian Harp’ (Folkways Records)
08. Ella Jenkins, Brother John Sellers, Joseph Brewer – ‘The Wilderness’ (Folkways Records)
09. Frank Proffitt – ‘Trifling Woman’ (Folk­‐Legacy Records)
10. Helen Schneyer – ‘Wayworn Traveler’ (Folk­‐Legacy Records)

Read next: Deathprod talks recording, collaborating and the scourge of Spotify