Deathprod | Occulting Disk
Smalltown Supersound (2xPL/CD/DL)
Opening with a fiery blast that quickly dissipates, and repeats, like one of those major storm warnings at a local school or state building. From Oslo Occulting Disk is Deathprod‘s (Helge Sten) first release in a decade and a half, and surprisingly (by reputation) only his fourth under this moniker. And any anticipation has likely been exceeded in this austere amalgamation. It’s as if a death march and a monster movie met in the center of a city square, staring eye to eye, and instead of attacking, choosing instead to size each other up, navigating strengths and weaknesses. And that’s just for openers.
The hour plus recording consists of eight tracks numbered as Occultation(s) (occult incantations, conversations?). Sten’s sound drifts, like bent soundwaves in a drift of saturated drone. The dark chill is intense in both sensation and scope, tuned into the most delicate to broad sonics.
A light rain becomes a hive evolving into a wall of auricular sensations. I only wish I could be in the audience this Sunday night for his one-off show at the Oslo Opera House as the a/v experience might send this even further off the charts of my capacities. Embedded are sounds that mimic alarms, of descending from the clouds, both through ambient transcendentalism and buzzy psychedelic vibrations.
When Deathprod is most starry-eyed, as on Occultation 7, is where I’m mostly tuned in and turned on to the gentle reflectory-style work he’s produced, like glinting stars in the blackest of skies. Balanced against the shredding thickness of Black Transit of Jupiter’s Third Satellite (what a mouthful) the artist posits an integral balance of dark/light. This latter work is grungy, reverberating with a mirage of noise, smudged in elongated shadows.
And one final deep breath on the almost achingly quiet Occultation 8 which is likely the record’s most elusive piece. It whispers of futurism, of that which lies beyond the thunderdome of a crystal city amid gentrification. Sensational sinewy synths impregnating an ambiguous twilight of all that lies beyond.