(mono073) CD PART 1 ACCUMULATED BACKGROUND RADIATION
THE CASE AGAINST
date of release: march 2016
PART 2 FLIGHT PATH (DUST FOR B.)
PART 3 THE LAST SCATTERING SURFACE
PART 4 RIP IT UP
PART 5 NIGHTLIGHT
PART 1 ACCUMULATED BACKGROUND RADIATION
American cassette-music composer Howard Stelzer is in a perpetual state of movement, both toward new possibilities of his chosen materials and away from his previous work and listeners’ expectations. While known initially as an improviser using cassette players and tapes as instruments, Stelzer has gradually shifted from live performance to the studio where his music has become something quite different. His latest album, “The Case Against”, is a confident step in this exciting new direction. Over the course of the album’s five tracks (presented as a single piece in five parts), Stelzer produces an evocative and highly visual piece of obliquely narrative sound theater sculpted from humble cassette tapes in the dead of a New England winter.
The cover image of a desolate beached galleon (drawn by renowned comics artist Tony Millionaire) sets the tone for what follows: a steadily enveloping deep-water/deep-space dive into chilling depths/heights. From the gradually enveloping dread that rises from below in the album’s opening minutes to the full-spectrum melodic glory that returns listeners to solid ground an hour later, “The Case Against” is easily Stelzer’s most accessible and accomplished work yet.
Howard Stelzer has made music out of cassette tapes since 1997. From 1998 until 2012, he ran the Intransitive Recordings label, which published work by artists such as Nerve Net Noise, C. Spencer Yeh, Brume, Lethe and Failing Lights. Stelzer currently teaches middle school math and science in Lowell, MA, where he and his family live in a giant room behind a disused power station.