Album of the Day: Richard Ramirez – Amplified Tactics


Noise’s capacity to make itself known through its own violent radical alterity allows for it often to reshape its own contexts. Accordingly, a series of live recordings reissued on vinyl, twenty years after their initial performance, and eighteen after their original 2xCDr release, neither commands nor is commanded by the same engine of cultural nostalgia that drives most such artifacts. The vibrancy and dynamic queer energy of Amplified Tactics, however, elevates these recordings to a dominating affective immediacy that fully realises the corporeal dimension of the genre. Contrasted to the greater degree of punishing consistency in Ramirez’ best known projects, Amplified Tactics oscillates at times wildly between ranges , timbres and sources – moving from high-EQ hissing to pseudo-melodious low-end rumbles from what sound like an electric drill, reminiscent of Sunn O))). By halfway through the final track, that effectively collapses space and time, creating an almost seamless blend between a performance in Monterrey and a performance in Reynosa, we begin to have intrusions of clear vocal records from gay porn, and eventually a genuinely funny gay radio talk show, listening ten overtly lascivious reasons “to go to the rodeo,” the celebration of Southern queer disregard for decorum feels entirely consistent with everything else we have heard for the past hour. An essential document of the North American queer underground, toying with conventions of masculinity

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