End to End is our track-by-track take on non-album and compilation releases, in which we try to give thumbnail first impressions of each song and point to particular numbers to be cherry-picked via the consumer’s online retailer of choice.
DJ Dwarf XII
Beton Kopf Media/Metropolis
Another year, another album from :Wumpscut: and another entry in Rudy Ratzinger’s long running DJ Dwarf companion series. Generally speaking these comps have always served as a place for alternate mixes and edits of tracks from the album they accompany, as well as a showcase for :W: remixes of other artists and bands signed to his Beton Kopf label. Consequently, quality has varied. With that in mind, some of the better (to be clear, still not particularly good) :Wumpscut: stuff over the last few years has been outside the records proper in the form of various remixes and b-sides, and tested though it has been we still have some loyalty to Rudy, at least to the point of giving anything he puts out a token listen. So how does this release stand on it’s own, and as a side-dish to the recently released Women and Satan First? Let’s dive in.
“Women and Satan First (Album Version)”
The title track of the new LP. Despite the questionable title this isn’t completely awful, just uninspired more than anything. It starts off in the vein of some of Rudy’s more minimally arranged melodic numbers but isn’t as memorable as some of his other jams in that style like “Hang Him Higher” or “Christfuck”.
“Grobian (Dwarf Edit)”
I wish this plucky liquid sounding bass and the string sounds that pop up mid-way through were in service of something more developed. There’s kernel of something good here but like so many of :W:’s post millenial songs, it feels underdeveloped. I gotta admit though, still love how Rudy’s voice sounds when he sings in German.
“Hallelujah (Dwarf Edit)”
You know, this is pretty decent. Heavy use of vocoder, judiciously deployed female vocals on the chorus and I really dig the repeated use of the “Hallelujah” sample on it. I might play this out, which is more than I can say for any song from the last two or three albums.
“Bloodsport (:Wumpscut: remix)”
This is actually a remix of a track by Aengeldust, a project of Nadine Engel from Acylum. No idea what the original sounds like, but this edit is just blah, breaks style programming seems promising at the beginning but doesn’t go anywhere really.
“Burial on Demand (Splitter remix)”
Straight four-on-the-floor club mix at around 120 BPM. At 7 minutes it’s far too long, and even if you were inclined to mix into or out of it in a set you’d be hard-pushed to find a passage worth doing so for.
“Cunnilingus Creutzfeuer (Memmaker Remix)”
I have no idea what this song name is referring to, and something tells me I probably don’t want to. Memmaker always come correct however, and this is no exception, nice thick bass and a big dancefloor push that still preserves the :W: feel quite nicely, something a lot of folks who remix Rudy into other styles seem to have trouble with. High marks.
“Grobian (Reiz remix)”
This omits most of the stuff I liked in the “Dwarf” edit, but is a bit more cohesive overall. As a compromise goes, I’m into it, one of Rudy’s major flaws (and I’d say the major factor in how his recent work hasn’t been up to snuff) has been lack of focus: he still has some good ideas but gets lazy. When these guys step in and punch his song up it sounds okay. Not great, but going in the right direction.
“Burial on Demand (Cynical Front remix)”
Better than the Splitter mix, this pulls some of the more interesting melodies and sounds from the original version and plays with them. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it just isn’t that great a song to begin with which is a double-edged sword; a decent remix will improve it, but it’ll take a lot to make it excellent. This falls right in the middle, which is where many of these remixes by other artists are also situated.
“Grobian (Switchface Remix)”
This backs up my earlier assessment re: focusing Rudy’s songs. Like the Reiz mix, it adds structure and motion in its arrangement to decent results. As someone who came up in the 90s when songs with heavy use of dialogue samples were all the rage I’m inclined to like it, although I have to question why a track this unremarkable in its original form got so many remix treatments. Not bad.
“Grobian (Advent Resilience remix)”
The first of three remixes by the Netherlands’ Advent Resilience, this is less club oriented than the versions of “Grobian” that preceded it. From what I gather from Last.FM these guys came to Rudy’s attention via a remix contest for Schadling. Not definitively good, but not terrible either.
“Burial On Demand (Advent Resilience Remix)”
This has a bubbly bass sound I kind of dig but doesn’t do much to grab me otherwise. Not a club mix, not really a headphone jam, it’s just kind of there, which seems to be a bit of theme on this release.
“Kill That Little Fuck (Advent Resilience Remix)”
The best of the Advent Resilience remixes for what that’s worth. This has a solid rhythm to carry it, but the repeated “FUCK” and “KILL” samples are eye-rollingly childish. From my brief perusal of Women & Satan First this stood out as probably the worst song, so I guess anything is an improvement. Still unlikely to ever get played by me again, it’s just not very good even in this form.
“Wreath Of Barbs (Solitary Experiments Remix)”
Remember when :W: ran one of the first industrial fan remix contests for “Wreath of Barbs” like a decade ago? This is the Solitary Experiments entry, which was only available as a download via their website previously. It’s not anything special, frankly it seems like its inclusion is based more on the fact that it already existed, and that Solitary Experiments have name recognition. I guess it’ll be nice for SE completists, but it’s nowhere as good as what they’ve been doing in other remixes or in their originals since they banged this one together.
The Takeaway: My expectations for this weren’t high, so I guess the fact that there isn’t anything outright horrible on it is a plus. at $10 to purchase digitally no one but hardcore :W: fans will need to own it, there’s too many mediocre versions on it to justify at that price point. Still, the Memmaker remix and the Dwarf edit of “Hallelujah” are good, worth your two bucks if you need a fix, and I’m at least intrigued enough to give the whole album a proper listen. Not a massive improvement from the last few instalments of the series, but not entirely without merit either.
You can buy DJ Dwarf XII digitally via iTunes, E-Music and Metropolis’ website.