Amateur Aztec Hour – Clandestination

“Find a taste of vintage Indie sound in a track that easily keeps you interested until its last second. Those vocals can calm down every anxious mind and give more life to the rhythmic parts. Cool, surprising and proffesional production.”

"Clandestination" is loosely based on the late '80s film, 'Mannequin.' It is a "carpe diem" fascination with mannequins that questions the perpetual use of these strange shells of humans that are forever upright and frozen in time.

Vol. 0 is the debut album from Amateur Aztec Hour, aka Daniel Ramirez, out of Austin, Texas. The "Amateur Aztec Hour" moniker comes from the experience of growing up Mexican American, and everything that comes with that in the central Texas region. The music addresses modernity, substance abuse, self deprecation, and existentialism with a poetic type of social critique. The underlying irony of this solo project is its attempt to combat both isolation and insulation.

Singer/songwriter and producer Daniel Ramirez plays keys, synth, SP-404, MPC, bass, and guitar. The solo project was started in the Spring of 2021. Amateur Aztec Hour is influenced by '70s Dub producers, early trip hop, and general psychedelia.

"The project grew from my the passing of my last living grandparent, Raul Ramirez," Daniel says. "He was nothing short of a mythical man. He dropped out of school well before high school, fought in world war 2 in the battle of the bulge, didn't visit a doctor until forced to after the war, fished with tires, was a super aztec athlete, and lived to 99 years old. He passed away with a beautiful full head of hair. He was born shortly after the Spanish flu ended in 1920 and left this earth a month before the first case of COVID hit San Antonio in 2020. Some say it was his passing that gave way to the virus' spread into Texas. His passing sparked an existential moment of clarity, and a need to further explore the two most important questions, "What the hell are we doing on this rock?" and "Who the hell are we?"(or who the hell do we think we are?)"

Reviewed by Nagamag on August 6, 2022