Feb 2013 11

:Wumpscut: - DJ Dwarf XII:Wumpscut:
Category: EBM
Album: DJ Dwarf XII
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Some careful edits and interesting remixes help to elevate this remix companion above its album counterpart, in spite of a few pitfalls.


Every year, like clockwork, a new :Wumpscut: album comes out, concurrently with a remix companion piece. Women and Satan First was a shoddy, lazy piece of work that may well represent the nadir of Rudy Ratzinger’s work. Does DJ Dwarf XII succeed where its source material failed? Do fans of :Wumpscut: have something decent to listen to until the next album (Madman Szpital) comes out? Well, sort of – much of the music has been improved by avoiding the same pitfalls that plagued Women and Satan First, but that is tempered by the fact that the middle of the album is unforgivably repetitive if taken in one sitting.

:Wumpscut: starts things off with the album version of “Women and Satan First,” which is as bland and uninteresting as it was the first time. The Dwarf edit of “Grobian” makes some improvements over the album version by not reusing the same sample six times during the course of a single song. It mercifully trims nearly two minutes of fat from the song as well, which begs the question of why this version wasn’t used on the album. An edit of “Hallelujah” follows, without any major differences from its album counterpart. It has a nice beat, some excellent vocoder bits, and like almost any song on the album would be great on the dance floor. A :Wumpscut: remix of Aengeldust’s “Bloodsport” follows and it serves as a reminder that Rudy really does know his way around a remix. It’s more melodic than the original and the piano and strings are used to good effect. The drums are a refreshing respite from the norm in Rudy’s work, with special attention paid to modulating the drums throughout the song both with filters and bit reduction. It grates a bit toward the end, but no more than the original track.

The biggest issue with this album begins to crop up after the :Wumpscut: remix of “Bloodsport.” The problem is this – aside from that one very good remix of Cunnilingus Creutzfeuer, tracks 5-11 are all remixes of either “Burial on Demand” or “Grobian.” This writer will be the first to admit that of the entire Women and Satan First train wreck, those are the two songs that vied for “Most Competent” and “Most Club-Friendly.” Because of that, if you are a DJ looking to spin a variation of one of these songs, just pick a track and let it play – they are all varying levels of interesting and will definitely get people moving. If you’re the type of person who enjoys listening to an album from start to finish, then prepare to be bored to tears as you hear the same samples, same beats, and same melodies for nearly half an hour. It stands to reason that most of these tracks are winners of Rudy’s yearly remix contest, but there’s just no reason to release an entire album and fill the remix companion to the brim with various interpretations of two songs. One particular standout in this group is the Reiz remix of “Grobian” as it adds an excellent amount of variety in the film samples, is laced with some great cinematic percussion, and reduces Rudy’s repetitive vocals to a sensible level. Top it off with a piano laden bridge, and you’ve got something really fantastic.

The album closes with a bizarre choice; after seven remixes of the same two songs, it was apparently decided that something was missing to add variety to the record. What’s the best way to liven up an increasingly stale track list? If you said, “A remix of a song that came out over a decade ago and already had a remix album dedicated solely to that one song,” then you would be absolutely right (and not to alarm you, but also you’re very likely Rudy Ratzinger, because I don’t think anyone else has ever said that). Regardless, this thought process is what closes the album with a remix of “Wreath of Barbs.” The opening drum loop sounds eerily similar to that of the opening drum loop in Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer to God,” albeit slower and slightly pitched down. That tidbit of information is, unfortunately, the best part about the song – the rest is boring and wholly unnecessary. It adds absolutely nothing to the original; it’s just a new beat and arrangement with the vocals and a single pad plastered on top of it. It’s lazy.

Given the choice, it may be wiser to forego Women and Satan First and just pick up DJ Dwarf XII. It still has its pitfalls, but generally is more innovative and less infuriatingly grating than its parent album. This is especially true if you just need some club fodder to get people dancing – there is a wealth of danceable tracks here. Just don’t expect anyone to want to listen to more than one or two in one sitting. Here’s hoping that 2013’s Madman Szpital will at least fall back into the territory of “goofy but fun and competent” rather than “uninspired and boring.” We’ll all know for sure in just a few months.
Track list:

  1. Women and Satan First (Album Version)
  2. Grobian (Dwarf Edit)
  3. Hallelujah (Dwarf Edit)
  4. Bloodsport (:Wumpscut: Remix)
  5. Burial on Demand (Splitter Remix)
  6. Cunnilingus Creutzfeuer (Memmaker Remix)
  7. Grobian (Reiz Remix)
  8. Burial on Demand (Cynical Front Remix)
  9. Grobian (Switchface Remix)
  10. Grobian (Advent Resilience Remix)
  11. Burial on Demand (Advent Resilience Remix)
  12. Kill That Little Fuck (Advent Resilience Remix)
  13. Wreath of Barbs (Solitary Experiments Remix)

:Wumpscut: Website http://www.wumpscut.com
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:Wumpscut: Twitter http://twitter.com/RudyRatzinger
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Donald Beach (DXNero)

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