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Germany's :wumpscut: was one of the electro-industrial scene's most prolific, influential acts from the early '90s until the late 2010s. The brainchild of Bavarian musician Rudy Ratzinger, :wumpscut: was best known for producing harsh, terror-inducing industrial dance tracks with strong melodies and unflinching lyrics, titles, and artwork that explored provocative subjects such as genocide, cannibalism, torture, and pornography. However, the project also recorded dark ambient and ethereal pieces, and was never afraid to experiment. Early :wumpscut: releases such as 1993's Music for a Slaughtering Tribe helped lay the groundwork for the aggro-tech scene. Albums since 1999's Boeses Junges Fleisch were somewhat more accessible, with a greater focus on melody and song structure, but still with relentlessly dark lyrics. The project continued to deliver one album a year, in addition to EPs, compilations, and remix packages, until Ratzinger announced that he was retiring from making music in 2017. Although :wumpscut: was hugely popular within the industrial scene, Ratzinger never performed live, feeling that he could never live up to his own standard.
Rudy Ratzinger started out as an industrial DJ, and began producing his own music in 1991, heavily inspired by Danish electro-industrial artist Leæther Strip. His first two releases, Defcon and Small Chambermusicians, were issued as limited cassettes that year. Vuz Records signed the German to their fold by the following year, and after a release on a 1993 Vuz compilation (New Forms of Entertainment, Vol. 1: Cybernoise), the first :wumpscut: album, Music for a Slaughtering Tribe, appeared in December 1993. After the release of the Dried Blood EP on Ant-Zen Records in 1994, Ratzinger had formed his own Beton Kopf Media label by 1995 and released both a compilation and a full-length that year (The Mesner Tracks and Bunkertor 7, respectively).
After the appearance of :wumpscut: on the U.S. compilation The Remix Wars -- alongside Haujobb -- the Metropolis label signed Ratzinger to an American deal in 1997 and re-released the majority of his work, followed by the full-length Embryodead. Following the remix collection Born Again, :wumpscut: released Boeses Junges Fleisch (otherwise known as Eevil Young Flesh) in 1999. The double CD compilation Blutkind (Blood Child) appeared in 2000.
Wreath of Barbs illustrated Ratzinger's fondness for dance music's past and present when it was issued in 2001. He also initiated DJ Dwarf, a series of CD singles (and later albums) intended for club play, that year. Various remixes were collected on 2002's Liquid Soylent. The 2003 compilation Preferential Tribe rounded up singles and fan favorites, and the album Bone Peeler landed in 2004. The next year saw the release of the Evoke album along with the "Blondi" single, while the aptly titled Cannibal Anthem appeared in 2006.
The 2007 double-album Body Census was built for the club, while 2008's Schädling went for the throat; their 2009 LP combined the two styles under the banner of Fuckit. Siamese followed in 2010, then Schrekk & Grauss appeared in 2011. Women and Satan First, with cover art by German photo artist Thomas Buchta, was issued in 2012, preceding 2013's Madman Szpital. Bulwark Bazooka was released in 2014, with tracks like "Atrocity Dancer" and "Flesh Trench." BlutSpukerTavern appeared in 2015.
In 2016, :wumpscut:'s Wuterich arrived along with the single "Leper Kid." The retrospective compilation :innerfire: appeared in 2017, at which point Ratzinger announced that he would no longer be producing music. ~ John Bush & Paul Simpson
- Gangkofen, Rottal-Inn, Bavaria, W
- 3 Jun 1966
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