How To

by Howard Stelzer

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about

For years, New England's Howard Stelzer has been known for peacefully static drones and delicate improvised tape music. His fourth album, out now on Phage Tapes, is... not that. Instead, "How To" is a bold and confident statement of immersive, emotionally raw, overwhelming and information-heavy sound. Stelzer listened deep into his surroundings in Lowell, Massachusetts in order to locate the pulse of the former mill city; its industrial ambience informed these seven tracks' massive environments, which howl out of the speakers and fully absorb the listener. Rhythms emerge from grinding underground turbines and factories full of pounding machinery, all skittering and boiling below hundreds of layers of soaring tape hiss and playfully rude electric jolts.


"I used to think of cassettes alongside the sorts of sounds I can place upon the palms of my hands. With Stelzer, I’m sucked into the reel and sent spinning, crushed between layers of tape... I’m immersed in gigantic weather systems of crackling turbulence and static, seamed by matt-coloured feedback and coughs of crumpled tape – interference turned gale-force, rattling through metallic objects so that they clunk and whine in complaint." - ATTN: Magazine

"Another damn fine work of refined brutal beauty." - Vital Weekly

credits

released April 1, 2015

Cassette music composed and recorded by Howard Stelzer at the Hotel Amnesia (Lowell, MA), Fall 2013 to Summer 2014. Some elements recorded at Washington Street Art Center (Somerville, MA) and Tsongas Industrial History Center (Lowell, MA) with add'l sounds by Jason Talbot (6) and Sandy Brash (7).

Mastered by James Plotkin.
Photo and design by Lasse Marhaug.

Thank you: Michael Rosenstein, Morgan Evans-Weiler, Jason Talbot, Sandy Brash, Frans de Waard, Brendan Murray, Chad Maggs, Jos Smolders, Roel Meelkop, Patrick McGinlet, Ernst Karel.

Phage Tapes - PT215
CD, 500 copies
available March 2015

physical CD is available directly from the label!
phagetapes.miiduu.com/howard-stelzer-quothow-toquot-cd

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about

Howard Stelzer Lowell, Massachusetts

Stelzer's music is assembled out of cassette tapes, tape machines, and a stubborn refusal to admit defeat. By day, he teaches middle school in Lowell MA, where he and his family live in a really big room behind a power plant. At night, he hunches over stacks of tapes and makes this stuff. No one knows why. ... more

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