What do you mean, Fear Factory? Why are you profiling a METAL band, Jonny? Has the Listener’s Guide series jumped the shark already? I’m pre-emptively calling out these potential criticisms, because I’ve got the rest of this guide to prove to you all that this is a band worth writing about.
And they are a band with significant links to my own musical journey. The first “metal” band I developed a taste for, and the first I saw live. “Saw” is actually an understatement – heard, felt, smelt and otherwise lived through in every possible sense. It was thanks to Rhys Fulber’s involvement on some of their most notable albums that I discovered Front Line Assembly, an act who themselves were hugely influential in the development of my tastes in the years to come.
It’s been a while since I’ve even logged into this site. Curiously, the DJ Terminates Here Facebook page is still getting likes despite me having done nothing to earn them in recent times. I thought you all at least deserved an update. I’m still alive and so far avoided the Coronavirus. However, long-running mental health issues, which are only partially related to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have results in a severe hit to my productivity in the past year.
I’m beginning to find a route out, but it’s early days. DJ Terminates Here will as a result remain closed until it is possible for full-audience events to be safely held once more – indeed, my lack of activity and personal circumstances mean I’m unlikely to be first in-line for a real-world return. The good news is – the writing it on its way back. I have a half-finished Listeners Guide which should be published here soon.
Hi, thought I’d write a little here as I seem to be getting ‘Likes’ on Facebook despite zero activity! I’m still alive and staying out of harm’s way – however, I decided some time ago that DJ Terminates Here will remain “Closed for the Duration”.
I will return once full-audience events are once again possible in a safe manner – however. I find it difficult to gain any satisfaction from playing in empty rooms, and as the online audience has been well catered for so far by others, I don’t feel any need to cram another event into the virtual schedules.
I do hope to resume writing about music soon, with the focus on what I think I do best, long-form ‘deep dive’ articles, going places where the music journo establishment dares not go (or doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of). One may ask why I haven’t spent lockdown obsessively doing so already – I would only request “No questions, please” on that one.
Similarly, my plans to write a print-to-paper book (focusing on the UK scene post-1991) were hit on several levels by the pandemic. It’s still possible that some of the text will appear in article form but the project as original mooted simply isn’t possible in the current environment.
Terminates Here DJ activity has obviously had to stop due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Whilst I did consider the idea of DJ sets delivered remotely, it seems every other DJ in London has had the same idea, and without an established club to back me up or even access to a decent camera, I doubt I could sell it well. So instead I went back to writing. In early March, I was challenged to do the “10 Albums – 10 Days” meme on my personal Facebook. I’d done it before back in 2018, and the results became an article on this site, but with little else to do with my evenings, I decided to go for another round. Only not stop at 10, eventually clocking up 40 before deciding to call it quits.
A few points – firstly, as I chose albums around which I could spin a tale, there’s relatively little recent music covered here. If you wish to read about albums dating from the past decade, there’s a countdown of 2010s albums over at A Model Of Control. Also note that these albums are in no order – I simply picked one each day, listened to it a couple of times, then wrote the story. To preserve the writing and allow a wider audience to enjoy the journey, I’ve turned this series into an article here. A few have been modified for accuracy and to reflect changed context, and I’ve added explanations where a couple of selections coincided with certain events. But the text is essentially intact. So let’s begin…..
And then over the road for our Open Request List event….all except the first few and final run are requests.
The Velvet Underground – Venus In Furs The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps Bonzo Dog Band – I’m The Urban Spaceman The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black Patti Smith – Dancing Barefoot Lene Lovich – Lucky Number Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill Depeche Mode – Black Celebration Japan – Quiet Life Siouxsie & The Banshees – Cities In Dust
Tool – Schism Lindemann – Knebel Die Krupps – Vision 2020 Vision Liaisons Dangereuses – Los niños del parque Black Light Ascension – Club Death The Sisters of Mercy – Marian Killing Joke – Love Like Blood The Cult – Resurrection Joe Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak T.Rex – Children Of The Revolution The Leather Nun – Ride Into Your Town Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun Alice In Chains – Rooster
Iris – Closer To Real Wolfsheim – Once In A Lifetime Project Pitchfork – I Live Your Dream Alexander Veljanov – The Wind The Sisters Of Mercy – The Damage Done The Pretenders – Stop Your Sobbing Florence and the Machine – Shake It Out The KVB – Captives
Scott’s tracks are in italics.
Soviet Soviet – Rainbow Agent Side Grinder – Life In Advance NIN – The Lovers :Wumpscut: – Hold (Kirlian Camera Remix) Radiohead – Idioteque Underworld – Stagger Leftfield – Swords Faithless – Drifting Away Portishead – The Rip Bat For Lashes – In God’s House Goldfrapp – Annabel
Outro: Ramin Djawadi feat Serj Tankian – The Rains Of Castamere
Back for the first daytime set of 2020 (actually the first anywhere). As the event fell on International Women’s Day, Scott and I both played a larger-than-usual number of tracks featuring female artists.
Set 1 – 10:20am-11:45am
Underworld feat. Evelyn Glennie – And I Will Kiss Kruder & Dorfmeister – Original Bedroom Rockers Massive Attack – Inertia Creeps Sneaker Pimps – 6 Underground :Wumpscut: – Wreath Of Barbs (Violet Remix) Kirlian Camera – Ascension Jean-Michel Jarre – September Niels Gordon – Chloro V-Zylanz – Jet Set Willy A8 Off – Electric Salsa Confettis – The Sound Of C Nux Nemo – Hiroshima Tragic Error – Klatsche In Die Hande Amnesia – Ibiza Cassandra Complex – Moscow Idaho
Light Asylum – Heart of Dust Rein – There Is No Authority But Yourself Invasion of Female Logic – Trendsetter //TENSE// – Chain Randolph & Mortimer – Enjoy More Malaise – Something Else Mao Tse Tung Experience – Irregular Times Noxious Emotion – Mass Strvngers – Nostalgia Statemachine – Thermal Noise Echo Image – Standing Alone Les Anges De La Nuit – The Apocalypse Machine Rox – Bring Back Reality Ayria – The Gun Song Angelspit – 100%
Death In Vegas – Dirt Two Lone Swordsmen – Sex Beat (Andrew Weatherall Tribute) Moby & The Pacific Void Choir – Don’t Leave Me Earth Loop Recall – Optimism Creeping In Action Directe – UK Unit:187 – Capital Punishment Luxt – American Beast L’Âme Immortelle – 5 Jahre Within Temptation – Stand My Ground Pythia – Army Of The Damned Leaves Eyes – To France The Birthday Massacre – Video Kid Helalyn Flowers – Kamikaze Angel Propaganda – Dr.Mabuse Parralox – Headhunter
When writing guides such these, it’s often hard to choose the next band to cover. Sure, I can use social media to gauge interest in specific projects, but there’s also got to be a personal motive to invest time and effort in researching and writing a piece this long. It’s a particularly big decision when you deal with exceptionally prolific artists – the timing has to be right, lest one get bogged down in a body of work too large to take in. And it just so happens I’ve been spending recent months investigating the dark and obscure corners of one of the largest back-catalogues my genres of choice have to offer. It’s time to take a look at Wumpscut. (Yes, officially the name is supposed to be bookended with colons, but if I do that here, my grammar checker will throw a wobbly).
Wumpscut was formed by the Bavarian DJ Rudy Ratzinger in 1991, inspired by the likes of Skinny Puppy, Leæther Strip and Dirk Ivens among others. The name means nothing – it was an entirely synthetic creation. His style has been referred to as both ‘dark electro’ or ‘electro-industrial’ – the terms are interchangeable as far as online discussion goes, and since few musicologists acknowledge so much as the existence of the style post-mid 1980s, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get a clear answer. Just accept that if you’re not into dark synthetic textures, hard electronic rhythms and angry vocals, dealing with some of the most unpleasant subject matters both fiction and reality have to offer, you might as well quit reading now.
Whilst this was very much a solo project, Rudy occasionally brought in guest musicians, mainly for female vocals, as well as sampling extensively from movies and bands from a variety of genres – the Alien movies are an obvious influence, inspiring as they did the project’s official logo. He also remixed other artists frequently and featured on many compilations. The one thing Wumpscut never did was play live. Rudy never had any desire to take the project to stage – neither did he feel like he could have done the music justice if he had done so.
With the retirement of the project in 2017, I am at least able to tell the Wumpscut story from start to end. I hope this guide will serve to be comprehensive, though what it won’t be is 100% exhaustive. This is, after all, a Listeners Guide, not a Collectors Guide or Fanatics Guide. Most Wumpscut albums have been released several times, in several formats, and there’s no way I can cover every version of all of them. Physical format collectors will have to check resources like Discogs.com for a full shopping list. Be prepared to shell out for the box set versions. My cupboard isn’t big enough for them.
If you’re happy to stay virtual, I recommend Wumpscut’s Bandcamp page, which has just-about-everything for 5 Euros per album. The Concentrated Camp editions are the best way to get the most complete versions of each album, and there’s also sizeable compilations covering all the loose ends, of which there are many. Devoted fans can also get vinyl masters and ‘Inheritance’ editions (draft/demo versions from the DAT tape archives), but I’m not going to cover these – perhaps someone else will one day. Casual fans can stream most of the studio albums on the regular services, but the remixes and rarities are covered inconsistently, so you might not find every track I mention.
This may be too long for many of you, so you can just Skip To The End and just find out what songs are worth listening to. But if you’re up for the full and complete text – it’s time to get started.
Back to the classic linup for our December edition. In keeping with the spirit of the event, everything in this section except the final run is requests.
The Cure – Burn Sisters Of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection Depeche Mode – Wrong Project Pitchfork – Souls VNV Nation – When Is The Future? Mesh – Automation Baby Covenant – Call The Ships To Port Code 64 – Leaving Earth Talk Talk – Such a Shame Agent Side Grinder – Life In Advane Suspiria – Awfully Sinister Virgin Prunes – Pagan Love Song London After Slimelight – Psycho Magnet Type O Negative – Life Is Killing Me Razed In Black – Share This Poison
Note that Scott did a fairly sizable set whilst I ate my pizza between the above and this – hence the presence of yet-another 2003-vintage Type O track so soon. Glad some other people rate this album!
Dio – Holy Diver Ozzy Osbourne – Mr.Crowley Type O Negative – Nettie Die Krupps – Robo Sapien The Prodigy – Fuel My Fire Johnny Moped – Hard Loving Man The Damned – Plan 9 Channel 7 The Fall – How I Wrote Elastic Man Nirvana – Lounge Act Rammstein – Engel Iron Maiden – Hallowed By Thy Name Aerosmith – Crazy Alice In Chains – Man In The Box
Scorpions – Wind Of Change Davie Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side Patti Smith – Dancing Barefoot
Scott’s tracks are in italics.
Blondie – Doom Or Destiny Danielle Dax – Cat House Xmal Deutschland – Augen-Blick Joy Division – New Dawn Fades Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey Faetal – Divide By Zero Muse – New Born Radiohead – The Bends Mansun – Wide Open Space The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony Echobelly – King of the Kerb Suede – The Beautiful Ones Garbage – #1 Crush
Back to Tufnell Park once more for the Christmas edition of the quarterly indoor alternative market. Joining me on the music today was Scott and guest DJ Chelle Helle. As for my own contributions, no real theme for me today….. there doesn’t always has to be reason to play something providing it’s a good song!
Jill Tracy – Evil Night Together Boyd Rice and David Tibet – The End Of The World Hafler Trio – Of the Building of Forms by Vibrations Sopor Aeternus – Hades »Pluton« Diary Of Dreams – Colorblind Project Pitchfork – Karma Monster Ravenous – The Voices You Hear Stochastic Theory – What You Weren’t The Department – As It Transformed OneTwo – Signals Minuit Machine – Battles Chris & Cosey – This Is Me The Knife – Pass This On
The Horrorist – One Night In NYC Needle Factory – Blind Numb – Redact Aghast View – Retaliate Pittersplatter – Mummies & Music Boxes Heimatærde – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Matt Hart – Superficial DUST – Mind Arkham Asylum – Ground Zero Disturbed – Down With The Sickness NIN – The Hard That Feeds The Fair Sex – The House Of Unkinds The Eternal Afflict – San Diego 2k9 The Young Gods – Tear Up The Red Sky Ghosting – Bombed The World
My return to Yesterday’s Shadow after a couple of years, now a quarterly event at The Other Place (basement bar of The Albany). Also my first (and probably only) late-night set of 2019. Here’s what I played.
Set 1 – 10pm-10:30pm
The Monochrome Set – The Monochrome Set The Fall – Totally Wired Toyah – I Want To Be Free Act – Snobbery and Decay Altered Images – I Could Be Happy Peter Schilling – Major Tom (Coming Home) Visage – Der Amboss Camouflage – The Great Commandment Nitzer Ebb – Let Your Body Learn
Set 2 – 12:30am-1am
Depeche Mode – Everything Counts (Live 101) OMD – Enola Gay Ultravox – Sleepwalk Front 242 – Welcome To Paradise Fad Gadget – Ricky’s Hand Killing Joke – Requiem Talking Heads – Psycho Killer The Undertones – Teenage Kicks The Ramones – I Wanna Be Sedated