Don’t let the disappearance of his label Intransitive Recordings fool you; Howard Stelzer has kept himself as busy as ever. The New York-born tape manipulator may no longer have an outlet of his own, but even before closing Intransitive Recordings down back in 2012, he had been releasing albums pretty much everywhere. He has recently announced a new album on Phage Tapes, How To, which follows the still-fresh Narrow Escape and At Ease, a collaboration with Joe Bastardo.
Active since the mid-90s, Stelzer has made cassette tapes his trademark platform to craft complex collages of noise, found sounds, and synthetic textures. Yet he is best known as an all-around devotee of tape as a medium, collecting hundreds of cassettes, writing about sound art and tape culture, and curating an amazingly ambitious catalog of experimental music for Intransitive Recordings. Based in Boston and active for over a decade, the label released music by Jason Lescalleet, Nerve Net Noise, Jason Talbot, C. Spencer Yeh, and Brume, among many others. Nevertheless, it would be unforgivable to overlook 1998’s Bond Inlets, Stelzer’s crowning achievement; an album where he was able to pick the inherent limitations of consumer-grade tapes apart, laying out a foreboding work of rare emotional power.
How To is out on March via Phage Tapes.