Smalltown Supersound will release Helge Sten aka Deathprod's core trilogy of albums - Treetop Drive (1994), Imaginary Songs from Tristan da Cunha (1996) and Morals and Dogma (2004) for the very first time on 180g vinyl. Cut to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin, they form Deathprod's complete official canon.
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.
Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic is the world's most remote island. If you want to visit for more than one day, you have to wait a year until the next boat arrives to pick you up. Imagining life in such a lonely and cut-off environment opens up a space for Deathprod's yearning set of electronic SOS calls that are destined never to quite reach out through the airwaves. Violin by Ole Henrik Moe, who introduced Sten to the writings of a Norwegian expedition to the island in the 1930s, was recorded in the forest outside Oslo, manipulated and transferred to phonographic wax cylinders to give an extra dimension of decay.
The final track on the album, "The Contraceptive Briefcase II," was recorded live in concert by the Norwegian Broadcast Corporation (NRK), and features five vocalists, musical glasses, a musical saw, theremin and layered electronics. Originally released on CD in 500 copies in 1996, the album has been remastered in 24 bit / 96kHz high resolution audio from the original mix tapes.