Pink Pearl

by HS & Frans de Waard

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"I'm not going to tell you about the music contained on this CD by describing how Frans de Waard and I made it. That would be both tedious and misleading. What does process matter? Frans and I traded some sounds through the mail. We played together several times, in several cities, over many years. After a while, all those sounds became "Pink Pearl". If that sounds like a familiar story, it's because the idea of a postal collaboration was a hoary old noise cliche even in 1996, when Frans and I first started corresponding. But sound-recycling is such an integral part of both of our work, it should be no surprise that it's how we made this album too. I could (but won't) describe the objects that we moved around (tapes, computers, microphones… you know, the usual stuff), or compare how we've moved similar (or different) objects in the past and/or with other collaborators, put that dull information into a context of other artists who've moved similar objects in similar ways… but does any of that convey the emotional/narrative musical idea(s) that "Pink Pearl" attempts to articulate? Nah. You're too smart to be taken in by such nonsense. I know, I know… you still want to imagine the technology before you take in the content. So here's a nugget or two: Frans and I composed "Pink Pearl" over the course of several months by parsing, extracting, and altering elements from all the sounds we've ever made together for the past 18 years. Hendrix played a guitar. It wouldn't be news that one of his albums features a guitar, because they all do. So if "Pink Pearl" is no more or less than another articulation of process, then I'm probably a hack who doesn't need to make any more music. Which might be true anyway. But what the hell. This is the record we made. We like it. I'd tell you why, but the answer is coming out of your speakers. "

- HS, Lowell MA 2013

"I've always loved anything that Stelzer has worked on... (Pink Pearl is) all looped murmurs, crusty electronics, bubbling tape fuckery, stuttering mechanics, hissing clicking breaths of the netherworld, beautifully spare broken dreams alongside bleak industrial bang clank lye vats, the echos of a derelict boiler room still alive with phantoms of the past, eliciting strong memories buzzing & wheezing from the back of your mind that are a hair too ethereal to grasp ahold of. This is absolutely fantastic work." - Anti-Gravity Bunny

"Tense shipyard drones... a braid of the tongues of wind slipping off the streamlines of some big smooth, sleek thing... dramatic underwater claustrophobia, failing buoyancy, plummeting pressure, men’s voices clawing at metal and then telling quiet, recovery and churchly consecration; an audio film from inside the dreadful fate of a sinking Russian submarine under Arctic ice." - Igloo Mag

"It’s a thick sound, not drone, just hazy, hissy, and something easily to get lost in. A real nice album of hiss and mud, with digital crackles and tones for those humid and overcast summer days or late night fogginess." - The Sound Projector

"Simply beautiful. This is one of the richest albums I have heard in a long time. It's filled to the brim with sounds, atmospheres and textures, but in no way overdone. It is produced very well, with a deep and crisp sound quality." - Vital Weekly


released July 1, 2013

Composed in Lowell MA (USA) and Nijmegen (NL) by HS & FdW, 2011-2012. All sounds were extracted from live, studio, and mail collaborations 2002-2011.

Cover photography by Ashley Stelzer.
Cover design by Mirt.
Mastering by SEC_.

Published as a CD by Bocian Records (Poland) in a limited edition of 500 copies.



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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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