Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – A Listener’s Guide

I’ve long had issue with how poorly bands from continental Europe are covered when the Anglo/American music journos cover a particular genre.  Even when the bands in question sing in English.  Bands singing in any other tongue are a particularly hard sell, but every now and again, a notable project breaks through.  And Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft (DAF from here on) stand out in this very small grouping due to the way they achieved a cult following in the UK a couple of decades before anyone had heard of Rammstein.  This achievement was not despite the fact that they sung in German, but in many respects because of it. 

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Fear Factory – A Listener’s Guide

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.

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Update – April 2021

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.

In the meantime, I have updated the half-dozen existing guides to 2021-spec, so there’s something new to read, even if you’ll have to scroll a lot to find it.

Update – August 2020

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.

40 Albums – 40 Days

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…..

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DJ Terminates Here vs DJ The Scot – March 2020

And then over the road for our Open Request List event….all except the first few and final run are requests.

Set 1

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

Set 2

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

Set 3

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

Final Tag-Team

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

Alternative Bring’n’Buy Sale – March 2020

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

1pm-2pm

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%

3pm-4pm

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

And then over the road for more….

:Wumpscut: – A Listener’s Guide

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.

Wumpscut - Logo

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.

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DJ Terminates Here vs DJ The Scot – December 2019

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.

Set 1

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

Set 2

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

Set 3

Scorpions – Wind Of Change
Davie Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World
Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side
Patti Smith – Dancing Barefoot

Final Tag-Team

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

Outro: NIN – A Warm Place

Alternative Bring’n’Buy Sale – December 2019

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!

11:10am-12:05pm

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

2pm-3pm

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