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Howard Stelzer - JPop.com
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Howard Stelzer

Howard Stelzer

Howard Stelzer


Howard Stelzer (born 1974, in Belle Harbor, NY) is a composer of electronic music whose work is made primary from sounds generated by cassette tapes. Since 1997, he has run the record label Intransitive Recordings, which has published CDs and records by artists such as Brume, Jason Lescalleet, John Hudak, Nerve Net Noise, Brendan Murray, Seht, Lethe, Kapotte Muziek, Lionel Marchetti, Roel Meelkop, and many others. While in high school, Stelzer began experimenting with cassette tapes Read more on Last.fm
Howard Stelzer (born 1974, in Belle Harbor, NY) is a composer of electronic music whose work is made primary from sounds generated by cassette tapes. Since 1997, he has run the record label Intransitive Recordings, which has published CDs and records by artists such as Brume, Jason Lescalleet, John Hudak, Nerve Net Noise, Brendan Murray, Seht, Lethe, Kapotte Muziek, Lionel Marchetti, Roel Meelkop, and many others. While in high school, Stelzer began experimenting with cassette tapes, making collages with a tape recorder by quickly pausing and unpausing a tape while simultaneously changing the source sound. He would perform concerts at clubs and in local high schools by playing back these tapes and banging on metal percussion scavenged from junk yards. Some of this material has been published on small-edition cassettes and on compilations. Stelzer's first proper album, "Stone Blind", was published on his own Intransitive Recordings label in 1997.

The album consisted of three pieces, each roughly 20 minutes long, and made from crudely spliced cassette tapes. Initially, each track was recorded to one side of a 40-minute tape; a piece ended when the tape ran out. Stelzer has since disowned the album, and claims to have thrown most of the copies away. Upon graduation from college, Stelzer moved to Boston, where he came into contact with the city's community of experimental musicians, particularly nmperign, Jason Lescalleet, David Gross, Vic Rawlings, and Brendan Murray. His work with tape began as essentially live and improvised, with many impromptu collaborations, but steadily grew more studio based as he became increasingly influenced by the artists working around him. From 2000 until 2004, Stelzer performed as a regular duo with turntablist Jason Talbot.

Their music was entirely improvised, though they were inspired by groups like P16.D4 and Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock to sound like spliced tape despite being essentially a "live" band. The duo toured extensively, and performed at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands in 2003. The duo recorded music for half an LP split with bassist Mike Bullock. This was followed by one full studio album, Songs, which was produced by Wayne Rogers (of Twisted Village, Major Stars, Heathen Shame).

Known for very short, hyperactive sets, they published two complete live recordings on a double 7" single issued by CIP, with the generically descriptive title Four Sides. After 2004, Stelzer concentrated on solo compositions and studio collaborations, which resulted in a long-distance collaborative album with New Zealand-based composer Stephen Clover, aka Seht. The album was recorded by mailing cassette tapes from Boston to Auckland and back, recording ambient sound in each city and playing it back with tape effects in the other city. The resulting CD, Exactly What You Lost, was published by Intransitive in 2007. It begins with a flurry of movement, but gradually reduces itself down to a steady tone and then a faint click. Two solo albums were published in 2008, which seemed to expand on the style of Exactly What You Lost.

Go On, a single 40-minute piece in two parts, was published as a CDr by Banned Productions, a label run by noise legend AMK out of Los Angeles, CA. Bond Inlets is another 40-minute piece, also in two sections, and was published as a CD by Intransitive. Stelzer has collaborated with artists such as Le Quan Ninh, Frans de Waard, Jazzkammer, Emil Beaulieau, Giuseppe Ielasi, Peter Wright, Antony Milton, nmperign, The Cherry Point, Jason Lescalleet, Joseph Hammer, Will Guthrie, and Haco. Currently, Stelzer's main projects include Skeletons Out, a drone duo with Jay Sullivan; Ouest, a trio with Sullivan and Brendan Murray; and The BSC, a large improvising electro-acoustic orchestra led by soprano sax player Bhob Rainey. Read more on Last.fm.

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