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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Richard Ramirez - Bleeding Headwound [Old Europa Café - 2020]

From last year here’s a CD reissue of the mid 90’s tape release from respected American Harsh noise/ walled noise legend Richard Ramirez. The two-track disc focuses on dense ‘n’ seared junk metal-based harsh noise/ extreme industrial noise.

The release appears on Italy’s Old Europa Café- with the red and purple inked faced CD, coming presented in four-panel digipak, which has a purple and red splattered colouring with crude monochrome medical book illustrations of vein uncovered heads dotted around it- giving the whole thing a very old school noise/ industrial look. This CD has an edition of three hundred copies.

Bleeding Headwound originally appeared on Old Europa Café back in the year 1995, as a C62 tape. With an edition of around fifty copies. The tape featured three separate tracks- "Atomic Distortions" (10:23), "Left Eye" (20:02) on side A & "Spinal Amputation" (30:50) on side B. Though this CD lists three tracks, in reality, they are only two- with each track presenting as an edited together version of each tape side, with the whole thing being remastered by Devis Granziera (Khem, Lvnvs, Necrophonix).


So first up we have “Atomic Distortions / Left Eye” which comes in at 30.03. It opens with 30 seconds of radar-like pulse, then we get a steady building weave of steel bashes, grating sears, and slurred oscillating metallic rattles- with some reverb bounce 'n' high-end tone squeezy occurring. If I was to compare this track to anything I’d say the sound of an erratic, huge, and aged industrial boiler, which keeps firing up, before from time to time break down slightly for violent pipework thunder, rip, and steam hiss. At around the eleven-minute mark, we get more pronounced forking & spacey blipping tones coming into play- and for a time these are allowed to stretch, and bounce off each other. The rest of the tracks texturally pallet is now taken up by buffeted and boorish noise drones, jitter to forking mids, this muffled sort of roar element, and later on some accelerating like siren builds.

Next, we have just shy of thirty minutes worth of "Spinal Amputation". This opens with raising and boiling high pitch sustain, silence then police siren sounds. As we move on, we find sudden sustains of searing high end, rattling-to-scrabbing mid-range purrs, and fading junk like knock. The track has a great feel searingly-yet- brooding atmospherics- with Ramirez nicely build wave upon wave purring and fork junk dwells. The unease drone haze and distant police siren appearing so often in the dips between the rolls of noise. With later on some almost harmonic noise press and drone coming into play around midway through the track

Both tracks on this CD reissue of Bleeding Headwound are worthy examples of Ramirez early more dense junk take of harsh noise. Of the two I’d say the second track "Spinal Amputation" is the keeper, as the blend of rushing searing-then-atmospheric feedback is most compelling/ re-playable- but the whole release is certainly worth a look if you either want to hear early work from this US noise legend, or enjoy thicker junk bound harsh noise.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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