Thursday, September 10, 2009

2004 : 43 "Burntwood" by Deathprod

2004 saw the release of a great four-album box set from Rune Grammofon producer Helge Sten, who records under the name "Deathprod." As the moniker suggests, this is music intended to be disquieting: it's mostly monochromatic Norwegian drone, made by grim electronic devices, raggedy violin, and some process of in-studio desecration that Sten refers to as the "audio virus" procedure. Even an adventurous listener might regard the prospect of four discs of this material with some degree of trepidation—but there are real rewards to be had here. Specifically, I'd point to the first four tracks on the Imaginary Songs From Tristan de Cunha disc, a suite of songs posing as field recordings from the remotest place on earth. Weathered and weird, the resulting tunes are finely imagined: they're recognizable as sounds produced by humans but they're alien enough that they can't be associated any existing genre of "music" ("world" or otherwise). Ultimately, they join the short list of great fake-ethnomusicology gags from this decade (a list that only contains one other item: the hilariously phony music that ran over the closing credits of Borat).

Jeremy Bushnell

Listen: Deathprod >> "Burntwood"

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