Compscut Part 2 – The Virtual Era (mostly)
We now move to the download era. Initially, Wumpscut released exclusive remixes for individual purchase, with a limit on the number of downloads. These aren’t available as standalones any more – instead they’ve been compiled in various easy-to-obtain, hard-to-endure collections. Almost every note Rudy has recorded and every alternate interpretation of his work has seen some form of release at some point. Here’s the quickest guide I can muster.
Some exceptionally obscure demos were extracted from DAT and released in 2012 under the name Cybernaut Datanics. Whilst not particularly well developed (Distortion is the only track to resemble something ‘completed’), they’re conceptually interesting to anyone who liked the other ‘demo tape’ tracks released on the various compilations mentioned above. The two demos tapes from which these were sourced finally got an all-inclusive download release in 2017 under the title Small Decfon Musicians. If you’ve been collecting these in order, you’ll already have most of these tracks anyway, but you’re going to want to finish the set, you can now. Especially as this is the only easy way to get the full original versions of “War Combattery” and “Lindbergh”, both important relics from this project’s very earliest creative phase.
More obscure demo cuts were released around the same time as the Overlook DAT. Thirty tracks in all, but a third is taken up with loops from which the over-long “Jesus Gone” was built. Three rough cuts of “God” from Preferential Legacy help reveals the true musical link between Dirk Ivens and Rudy Ratzinger. An instrumental cut of the ultra-rare “Oma Thule” single (so rare I haven’t got the original), a few mixes of Aghast View and some never-heard-elsewhere demo cuts complete the offering, with the melodic harpsichord excursion Filter Ghetto the least Wumpscut-esque track ever released under the name, but fascinating in terms of an insight into a direction this project never took.
Now things get really confusing. Innerfire was also released in 2017 bearing what would be the final three Wumpscut studio recordings. The 3CD version featured these songs as an accompaniment to a 40-track best-of compilation, all tracks remastered and (for better or worse) all albums represented, picking the best tracks more often than not, but there’s enough stuff omitted here to make the other albums worth checking out. The early ones at least.
The 4CD+vinyl version includes an old-style 12” with “Soylent Green” and “Wreath Of Barbs” a bonus remix CD with another shovel-load of mixes from serial bonus-tracker Advent Resilience. There’s also a download card where you can obtain even more Advent Resiliences, plus a few mixes by Adzix and one by Eintritt Verboten, but are you seriously going to make it that far? The download version of the album skips the retrospective entirely and just offers the three new tracks and the complete set of remixes. If you want the remastered Best Of in a downloadable form, it was released (also with the three new tracks) under the title The Last Great Wump In The Sky.
Once you’ve sussed all this out and picked which version to buy, there is at least pleasant surprise in discovering that the “final three” are quite good by recent standards. The Show Will Go On is a effectively an (Cross of) ironic sign-off for the whole project and Deutschland has a delicate melodic touch rarely heard in the recent past. The remixes are only really of interest if you get Advent Resilence’s tech(nichal) beat style, and you would have heard many of them before if you’ve worked through the ‘Concentrated Camps’. Whilst the mixes of earlier, classic tunes are largely exclusive to this release, the only truly inspired take of anything is the mix of newcomer Deutschland, bringing some real rhythmic purpose to the downtempo original and actually sounding ‘more Wumpscut than Wumpscut’.
We’re getting pretty sick of remixes by now, but there’s yet more to cover. Another 2017 comp was Cynical Turmyte Verboten, compiling most but not all of the mixes undertaken by another career W-remixer, Lars Reifendifer, who works under the names Cynical Front, Turmyte and Eintritt Verboten. The more recent mixes are largely heard-it-before-don’t-need-to-again, but there’s a couple of classics with worthwhile reworks. A dense and complex mix of “Hang Him Higher”that manages to maintain the melodic hook of the original amid the dark electronics is a rare highlight. Also a r-e-a-l–s-l-o-w version of “Churist Churist”. recreating it’s key motif on pipe organ. It actually makes the tune into something more befitting the style of its parent album ‘Evoke’ rather than the stand-out DJ cut it originally was.
Not had enough yet? Yet another ‘better out than in’ compilation from 2017 was Tomren Files, a collection of mixes and oddities from various sources assembled by long-time Wumpscut loyalist Erik Tomren. Quite a few tracks we’ve heard elsewhere, but there’s some appealing mixes of the older tunes by (yes, him again) Cynical Front. The “Hang Him Higher” mix was covered in the previous paragraph (good but didn’t need it twice) but unique to this release is a new version of “Is It You?”. Finally combining a decent source material with a stack of original ideas, the creeping-crawling original gets the full-blown dark dancefloor treatment. It should have been a club anthem, but with scene tastemakers long since having moved on, hardly anyone will know it exists. What a pity.
Heaven’s Corridor feels like an addendum to ‘Tomren Files’- a further six tracks from long-deleted samplers. The names at work here make this mini-collection attractive at first sight but it’s one of those wrong-track-for-the-wrong-band affairs. FLA should have really taken “Flucht” to new extremes, but the wild breakbeats drive too hard, too soon and degrades into a a blur. A Kirlian Camera mix of “Dying Culture” tries to match their choral pads and orchestrations to the raw rhythmics of the original, but it’s all rather forced – KC’s style is just better suited to reworking the slower tunes. A slightly different version of “Mother” (Third Confession) is the highlight, and it’s not sufficiently distanced from the original to be worth purchase on its own.
A final online compilation, Lost And/Or Found was issued in 2018. This seems to have been released as an accompaniment to the ‘Concentrated Camp’ editions of the albums, compiling (almost) every track that didn’t make it onto one of these otherwise-complete editions, barring a few remixes and demos covered above. For old-school fans, the main appeal is the the Haujobb and extended versions of “Die In Winter” from the US edition of ‘Bunker Gate/Tor 7’, which were inexplicably left of the Camp edition. As previously stated, neither is preferable to the original but they’re here if you want them.
There’s also newly-unearthed demo takes (similar to things we’ve heard before), a selection of minute-long snippets from the mid-00s albums (“snippet CDs” were briefly a thing), a few old compilation tracks and edits, plus some assorted remixes. Most notable of these the Cynical Front remix of “Hang Him Higher”, previously heard on the two remix compilations described above. Otherwise, it’s another miscellany strictly for those who have to have it all.