A new Wumpscut release is always exciting. Although mastermind Rudy Ratzinger is incredibly prolific, he also manages to be really unpredictable. The response to each new release is predictable, of course; a large group of people with no prior interest in Wumpscut will fill the floors to the latest single, while an equally large group of "old-school" fans will denounce the new material. The music itself, though, can range from brutal EBM to classically influenced darkwave, and Ratzinger isn't the type to warn us what he's thinking ahead of time. This time around, he seems to be recalling his earlier work with tracks that are dark and atmospheric but still undeniably heavy. The first new track on this double-single, "Jesus Antichristus" is full of lush but simple arrangements of string pads and orchestra stabs, growling German-language vocals, and reverberating dance floor beats. Feindflug's remix brings the strings to the forefront and slows the beats to a dispiriting march for a sense of militaristic bombast. It's "Die Liebe" that's really interesting, though. It shares the German growls and mid-tempo club stomp, adding some choir samples for a real horror film vibe, but it's also got a simple, intentionally vintage-sounding analog arpeggio running through it, resulting in something that sounds like the love child of an old Wumpscut demo and a lost Legendary Pink Dots cassette. As incongruous as it might sound, it's quite exquisite, with the psychedelic synth warble emphasizing the song's evil atmosphere instead of distracting from it. Recently Deceased ditch the unique synth line on their remix, giving the song a more purely modern sound that, though perhaps not as groundbreaking as Ratzinger's original, still has plenty of club appeal. The bottom line? Wumpscut zealots already have their minds made up, of course, but disillusioned fans of Ratzinger's earlier work might be pleasantly surprised, as well.
Visit www.wumpscut.com for more Rudy Ratzinger goodies.
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