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Howard Stelzer
Birth name Howard Stelzer
Born November 23, 1974 (1974-11-23) (age 35) Belle Harbor, New York, Long Island, New York, United States
Genres Musique concrète, Electroacoustic music, Experimental music
Occupations Composer, record producer
Instruments Tape recorder
Years active 1990–present
Labels Intransitive Recordings, RRRecords, Audiobot, Troniks, Chondritic Sound, Students of Decay, Crippled Intellect Productions, Korm Plastics, American Tapes, Port, Banned Productions, Middle James Co.
Associated acts Stelzer and Talbot, The BSC, Ouest, Skeletons Out

Howard Stelzer (born 1974, in Belle Harbor, New York) is a composer and live performer of electronic music whose work is made primary from sounds generated by cassette tapes. In 1997 he created the independent record label Intransitive Recordings, through which he publishes CDs and records by sound and noise artists such as Brume, Jason Lescalleet, John Hudak, Kyle Bobby Dunn, Nerve Net Noise, Nmperign, Jim Haynes, Brendan Murray, Seht, Lethe, Kapotte Muziek, Lionel Marchetti, Roel Meelkop, and many others.


Early recordings

Stelzer grew up on Long Island, NY, before moving with his family to Boca Raton, FL when he was 12 years old. He completed high school in Boca Raton, then began college in Tampa, and finished with a degree in English from the University of Florida in Gainesville. 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.

Stelzer & Talbot

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, who calls himself 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. The album begins with an extremely active opening piece, but gradually reduces itself down to a steady tone and finally to a faint click.

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.

Partial discography

  • Howard Stelzer - Stone Blind CD (Intransitive Recordings, US)
  • Howard Stelzer - RRRecycled c20 (RRRecords, US)
  • Howard Stelzer & Jason Talbot/Mike Bullock - The Idea of Northeast LP (Intransitive Recordings/Math Records, US)
  • Howard Stelzer & Frans de Waard - Torn Tongue CDr (Absurd, Greece)
  • Vic Rawlings, Howard Stelzer, Jason Talbot - Open CDr (BOXmedia, US)
  • Howard Stelzer & Jason Talbot - Songs CD (Intransitive Recordings, US)
  • Howard Stelzer & Jason Tabot - Recent Work CDr (RRRecords, US)
  • Howard Stelzer & Jason Talbot - Four Sides 2x7" (CIP, US)
  • The BSC - Good CD (Grob, Germany)
  • Howard Stelzer & the Cherry Point - Gross CDr (Carbon, US)
  • Howard Stelzer, Richard Francis, Stefan Neville, Clinton Watkins - lathe-cut 8" (CMR, NZ)
  • Howard Stelzer - This Map is a Gift CDr (Gameboy, JP)
  • Howard Stelzer & Giuseppe Ielasi - Night Life CD (Korm Plastics, NETH)
  • Howard Stelzer & Tim Feeney - Never Happened CDr (Audiobot, Belgium)
  • Howard Stelzer & the Cherry Point - Untitled LP (Troniks, US)
  • Seht & Stelzer - Exactly What You Lost CD (Intransitive Recordings, US)
  • Howard Stelzer - Mincing Perfect Words 3"CDr (Chondritic Sound, US)
  • Howard Stelzer & Jazzkammer - Tomorrow No One Will Be Safe CD (Pacrec/Troniks, US)
  • Howard Stelzer & John Hegre - The Boring Leading the Bored CDr (Humbug, NOR)
  • Howard Stelzer - Go On CDr (Banned Productions, US)
  • Howard Stelzer - Bond Inlets CD (Intransitive Recordings, US)
  • Howard Stelzer, Roel Meelkop, Giuseppe Ielasi, Frans de Waard - Zondag CD (Port, JP)
  • Skeletons Out - In Remembrance of Me CD (Students of Decay, US)
  • Spyked Stelzer - Strangled Pairs CDR (American Tapes, US)
  • Skeletons Out & nmperign - Split 7" (Absurd, Greece)


External links



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