The St. Louis-based visual artist and musician Angel of Deth has released a new EP called Principles of Inclusion. On its three tracks, his unique brand of Experimental Electronica moves fluidly between noise and pop—and it seems as though with a turn of a dial, Angel of Deth can switch from textural ambience to an onslaught digital grain. Check out our interview with him, see his self-made cover art, and stream “Principles of Inclusion Vol. III” below.
Soul Feeder: Who would you list as your primary influences? I can hear traces of Oneohtrix Point Never’s newer work, Anonhi, PC Music, and Tobacco—but you also have this microtonal digital grain that I associate more with Rustie and Hudson Mohawke or even Jackson and His Computerband.
Angel of Deth: Wow, you really nailed my influences down, haha. Yes, Oneohtrix, Arca, Dedekind Cut are all huge influences, but I’ve been mostly inspired by early 2000’s horror video games, such as Silent Hill and Fatal Frame. Silent Hill 2 has an amazing soundtrack. I’ve been really heavy into System of a Down and Korn lately as well. Meshuggah and Animals as leaders too. I grew up as a metalhead, so I really love heavy groove music.
SF: How would you place Principles of Inclusion in your work so far? That is to say, how do you think of your music as progressing throughout your career?
AoD: I wanted to make something polished yet organic with Principles of Inclusion. My previous work, like my EP Proto Mortis, is a bit more spontaneous and consists of a bunch of not-quite-finished ideas. Principles of Inclusion is more of a focused conceptual project. I try not to restrict myself to genre consistency in my projects. I like to be spastic and throw in twists and turns sonically. Rather than making, let’s say, an industrial album or an ambient album, I would rather make an album about a feeling or an experience and utilize all the sounds and styles to properly translate that feeling or experience.
SF: Where are you from, and do you think your location has any connection to the music you make?
AoD: I’m from St. Louis, Missouri USA. St. Louis is a medium-sized city. It’s a great place to incubate and be experimental with your process. You can try things that fail here without worrying about ruining your reputation. Say in New York or LA or London, If you aren’t on your shit 100%, people will think you are a scrub. Failure is the best way to progress, and St. Louis doesn’t judge as harshly. I will be leaving St. Louis soon though. Not sure where yet.
SF: “Principles of Inclusion II”’s lyrics seem to place the speaker more in a social or political sphere of observation, whereas “Vol. III”’s lyrics are very personal. To what extent do these lyrics represent your personal thoughts, or is you music about characters detached from you?
AoD: The lyrics are very much about me, very personal. “Vol. III” is pretty much about me locking myself into my room and binge eating. I use metaphors of my stomach exploding and spilling on to the floor and such. “Vol. I” might represent a panic attack, or the violent churning of someone’s stomach when they are hungry, for example. “Vol. II” can be about feeling death imminently approaching and being afraid. “Vol. II” is actually a transcription of a dream I’ve had during a very hard time in my life. It was so vivid; I felt that I was truly going to die. It kind of represented a lot of anxiety that I was experiencing at the time.
SF: Can we expect a full-length release anytime soon?
AoD: Yes! I have a full length coming out this spring, possibly May to June. It’s called Transmortality, and it is a concept album about a reality breaking apocalyptic event, with some cosmological horror. It will be released by Tell’Em Tapes from Columbia, MO USA.