The Idea of Northeast

by Mike Bullock/Stelzer & Talbot

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"The Idea of Northeast" was originally released as a split LP in an edition of 200 copies to be sold on a North American tour in the winter of 2001.

I don't remember where or when Jason Talbot and I recorded our side, but the back cover says "recorded by Tim Leanse" (aka the drumming half of free rock monsters Eloe Omoe). I guess it's true. I must have written that, and why would I lie? Mike's side is a pretty good representation of what he was doing at his solo concerts at the time... making his contrabass feed back like a beast. He'd perfect his eardrum-piercing/room-shaking extreme-frequencies technique on this tour and would later release recordings of his sets in Montreal and Rochester on a CD called "Initial" which you really ought to go find right now.

For context: at the time, Jason and I were still playing out of tiny practice amplifiers, jumping around and acting like fools while struggling to come up with a way to capture what we did live on a stereo record worth listening to. I'm not sure if this record hit the mark or not, but it does sound like what I remember us sounding like. The tour that we made "Northeast" for was my first tour ever, and the first time I ever left the country in my life. We played in Troy NY, then kept driving north to Montreal. We played a chaotic trio set with Martin Tetreault on our first night in Montreal, then the next day we recorded at Godspeed! You Black Emperor's studio with one of those GYBE guys producing. I still have the reel-to-reel tape of that session here in my studio, but haven't had the technology to transfer or listen to it yet. I suppose I'll get to it one of these days. After Montreal, we drove to Rochester NY, then to Dead Tech in Chicago (playing on a bill with Gunshop, if I recall), Columbus OH, Baltimore MD, Princeton NJ (to play an afternoon recital in a fancy concert hall at Mike's alma mater) and... well, after that it gets fuzzy. Did we go to DC? New York? I really don't recall. This was a long time ago and I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast.

The sleeves for the record were plain white with stickers for the titles and credits. Mike wrote liner notes, which were either glued to the back cover or stuck inside. Maybe we did some of each. Math Records was Jason Talbot's label, though he only used the name this one time. Math became Kissy Records, for which Jason published a lot of 3"CDRs plus a couple of pressed CDs by John Wiese and Brent Gutzeit. Intransitive soldiered on foolishly for a number of years before sensibly packing it in.


released December 1, 2001

Liner notes by Mike Bullock.

Released by Intransitive Recordings and Math Records.



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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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