Steven Tetzloff "Buzzworld" ( 1986)
I think I received this tape for my radio show in about 1986. I don’t remember having extensive contact with Steve Tetzloff but I did get most of his small catalog of releases. Rudi Tuscher also sent me a tape from his Calypso Now label.
Calling Tetzloff’s music “lo fi” would be an understatement. It sounds like it was recorded on the other side of the garage wall by a ten dollar tape recorder. As he states in the liner notes “there is no production to speak of”…and he’s right. The tape is essentially mono with overmodulated guitar and voice churning out fat slabs of distortion with heaped on sounds from his musical partner Mauro Aragon on synth, drum machine and squealing clarinet.
I’ve always been unsure if he was calling his “band” Flyspecks and the album title was Buzzworld or what. To me, it was a Steve Tetzloff tape. He writes all the songs and plays guitar, casio, synth and sings.
Tetzloff carved out his unique niche in his home studio in Los Angeles. Although I never knew much about him I did formulate some ideas about him through his music. He seemed reclusive and aloof. Who knows if this was actually the case but it seemed that way to me. He had a singular style which combined grungy, sludgy rock, frantic pop and even elements of noise. His vocals were generally morose, monotone and many times, buried in the mix. That being said, there was something attractive, mysterious and compelling about his work. Sometimes the mix is so confusing one cannot even tell what instruments are playing, and what is he saying? Then, out of the mess comes him intoning and repeating some odd combination of words. And it grows on me.
I cannot find Steve Tetzloff on the internet anywhere but if you run across any information I’d love to have it and pass it on. At this point, all we have is his tapes.
This is a strange tape, not easy to digest, and not one your mother would probably like. A challenging but rewarding ride rather like reveling in mud.