NRR180: Howard Stelzer "oh calm down you're fine" C30
Over the past several years, Howard Stelzer’s genre-agnostic, audience-ambivalent tape music has taken the form of large-scale concept-heavy constructions that span multiple albums and embrace collaborators from around the planet. oh calm down you’re fine is a respite from all of that. These four concise, seductive cassette-mulch love songs were written simply with the goal of being intimate and beautiful and nothing more (or less). No friends were invited to this party. Every sound was meticulously extracted from heaps of cassette tapes, broken tape recorders and whatever other junk was at hand, roughly stapled together by Stelzer alone. These luminous shapes are now presented to whomever for late-night deep-listening headphonics. Whether you hear it as ecstatic or anxious, meditative or enervating, sardonic or sincere, one thing is inarguably true: oh calm down you’re fine is an album. Crumer said this: “It's joyful (barely), sometimes mean and simply gritty most of the time. Howard Stelzer's oh calm down you’re fine on No Rent Records is the type of album that initially makes you hope it will like you, then laughs you out of the room”. Sure, let’s go with that.