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STELZER, HOWARD / BRENDAN MURRAY - Commit

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Helen Scarsdale Agency HMS064
Release Year: 2022
Note: metalluric drones full of resonance, hissing, and mysterious inner circle noises - we celebrate this 3 track LP by HOWARD STELZER and BRENDAN MURRAY ! - *exquisitely composed and overtly nocturnal without ever falling into the tropes of dark ambient and with plenty of gestures, signals, and threats that allude to any number of allegorically inclined processes (i.e. tape manipulation, time-delay accumulation, electro-acoustic minimalism, etc.).* - lim. ed. with DL card
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €23.50


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the third production from the stelzer/murray project hits a sweet spot of slippery, industrial occultation that harkens back to an almost forgotten period of music from the late \'80s and early \'90s. think cranioclast, arcane device, phauss, small cruel party, organum, and pretty much everything from the quiet artworks label. exquisitely composed and overtly nocturnal without ever falling into the tropes of dark ambient and with plenty of gestures, signals, and threats that allude to any number of allegorically inclined processes (i.e. tape manipulation, time-delay accumulation, electro-acoustic minimalism, etc.).

the howard stelzer half of this project has penned the following to provide context about commit:

\"id like to tell you about commit, the third album by stelzer/murray. really, i would. but i dont think what i have to say would be terribly illuminating. in fact, id love it if someone could tell me about what the heck it is we do.

what i mean is this: over the past several years, brendan murray and i have had plenty of conversations about our music and have come to the conclusion that we dont know much about it. we dont even recall making a lot of it. weve listened back to our first album, connector (which was released by helen scarsdale in 2017), and it struck us as very good and also almost entirely unfamiliar. same with the next album, commuter (published by humanhood in 2019). we cannot deny that stelzer/murray wrote, recorded and produced both albums we have vague recollections of sculpting the component pieces into their final forms but the writing/recording process remains utterly enfogged. how can that be?

perhaps both brendan and i compose our music while we are asleep. maybe the band exists only when both members are in some psychogenic fugue state. some months later, we become aware that stelzer/murray music has been made by us? apparently so! weve remarked to each other that when we listen back to our albums, it seems as if the music is both ours and not ours at the same time as if we (maybe) werent involved in making it. i assume that we were, but cannot explain how or why any of the stuff exists. im okay with that. during an interview several years ago, brendan and i were asked to describe the stelzer/murray compositional process. to our shock and delight, we realized that we couldnt quite say what it was. we werent being intentionally evasive; we just didnt know. turns out, it never occurred to us to talk about our music while we were making it. isnt that wonderful? or is dissociation of this magnitude just unnerving? can it be both?

this new album exists under a similar subconsciously-imposed shroud. i\'m not privy to much more inside information about commit than anybody else is. was there a mood we were aiming for? a conceptual through-line across these songs? maybe! it\'s certainly possible! if you notice anything, please send a note with a self-addressed stamped envelope to us (c/o helen scarsdale) and well respond if we think youre on the right track. whatever your guess, well assume that youre correct since you know just as much about stelzer/murray as we do.

theres one other possibility: stelzer/murray music turns out the way it does because its creators work in ways that are both deeply intense, intuitive and intimate. we dont discuss an albums architecture because as soon as the initial sounds appear, we both somehow know where theyre headed. we dont need to articulate conceptual approach or thematic connection because those things are already baked into our interactions over the past 24 years. i dont mean to imply that commit is without structure or cohesion or attention to detail... only that those qualities are apparent to us at the same moment that theyre apparent to everybody else. we\'re comfortable working this way.

now, look: this is supposed to be a press release, so i\'d better get to the elements that such a document requires. typically, such a thing would contain some eloquent verbiage to inspire interest in the product. ive spoken to the creators of this lp to glean inside information and was offered a sheepish shrug in return. and besides, even if i had the ability to spill some language that sets this music into some clever conceptual frame that might get you to pull out your wallet, i wouldnt want to. some loaded adjectives could have the effect of coloring your perception beforehand. once you put the record on, any suggestions of imagery or atmosphere would only lead to preconceptions that would either be affirmed (yes, this album sounds exactly like i thought it would! hooray for me!) or refuted (i expected one thing and got something slightly different and so now i am disappointed). sorry, but i dont see the point.

heres what i can say for sure: commit is, in both my and the band\'s estimation, a great record and stelzer/murray is a really good band. i can refer to them in the third person because i genuinely have no recollection of my supposed role in the creation of any of their records. you may point out that the sequence of seven letters to the left of the slash resembles my own last name. ill chalk that up to coincidence. stelzer/murray may as well be people ive never met. once commit comes out, i\'m a fan like anyone else. ill just sit back and enjoy the damn thing.

playing it at a high volume seems like a good idea.\"

h. stelzer
somewhere in massachusetts
winter 2022



https://helenscarsdale.bandcamp.com/album/commit