Few are more committed to the exploration of the cassette tape than Cambridge, MA’s Howard Stelzer. For years, Stelzer has been creating his own unique tape music both by himself and with a reputable cast of collaborators, much of which has been documented on his own Intransitive Recordings label. What separates Howard’s work from the bulk of traditional tape music is that he manipulates not only the phenomena of sound committed to magnetic tape, but goes deeper into the exploration of the physical mechanics and inner workings of the cassettes and players themselves, amplifying them in order to let the “instrument” become part of the music. The compositions on “The Impossible Astronaut” seem to create a void; a vacuum where trapped sounds are desperate to be released. Textural nuances and multi-dimensional field recordings are saturated beyond recognition, while lurching hiss and hum become anti-matter, simmering in tension. From subtle and quiet to loud and burning, sounds are presented in their raw form, and mixed to perfection.
Cassette edition – Discontinued