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Interview with :wumpscut: - conducted by Kevin Congdon - 5/97

Seen by many as perhaps the sole musical genius that revitalized the dying German electro scene in the early nineties, Rudy Ratzing definitely stands alone. Of course, he will humbly tell you that he doesn't deserve the honor and will instead point to Claus Larsen of Leaetherstrip as his personal inspiration and a better source for the so called musical revolution.

In any event, Rudy's contributions to the electro scene are nothing short of phenomenal. Under the moniker of :wumpscut:, he has released four full length albums, numerous 7 inches, and appeared on more compilations than anyone can count as well as participating in the remix wars with the other German electro powerhouse Haujobb. He has recently started two record labels; Beton Kopf Media under which he releases all of his own material and Mental Ulcer Forces where he produces and contributes to other projects, most notably Raoul Revere's Noisex. Ultimately each new :wumpscut: release seems to take his music to another level and there seems to be no end in sight.

After several months of effort, Kevin Congdon was finally able to track Rudy down in his home studio where Rudy took some time out of his busy schedule to grace us with a brief interview. His answer to our questions are very terse and to the point stressing both his need to return his music and a slight impatience that stems from suddenly at the other end of massive media frenzy. So sit back and enjoy the all too brief excursion into the world that is :wumpscut:.

Kevin: How long did you DJ? What led from playing music in clubs to creating it?

Rudy: I was a DJ for several years and was tired of offering the audience only alien stuff. The first Leaether Strip works were responsible for trying something on my own.

Kevin: What was your first musical creation like? Were you satisfied with it?

Rudy: The first tracks were 'War Combattery' and 'Pornography', as far as I can remember. 'War Combattery' was a very big success in the clubs in Southern Germany.

Kevin: What was your reaction earlier in your career when you seemed to be constantly compared to Leaether Strip?

Rudy: It was an honor to be compared to Claus Larsen's Leaetherstrip in the past. Now, :wumpscut: has changed so rapidly that there is no need to compare the two projects.

Kevin: Is the phrase "Endzeit-EBM" something you coined?

Rudy: Yes, it is. I first had to find a definition for my sound when I was asked to specify it -- how boring! I only divide music into good and bad.

Kevin: What equipment do you use?

Rudy: I use the following:

Kevin: What sound are you going for on your new album "Embryodead"?

Rudy: On "Embryodead", you can recognize a development towards filtered sounds. Maybe the Haujobb-influence is responsible for that.

Kevin: How did the first remix war between you and Haujobb come about?

Rudy: Stefan Herwig of Off Beat had the idea to release something with that concept. The Remix Wars were very fruitful, I think; it was one of the most listened to CDs in the :WUMPCAR: in 1996. I was so impressed by the versions done by Haujobb, that I decided to give them orders to remix 'Soylent Green' and 'Fear in Motiona' for "Music For a Slaughtering Tribe II".

Kevin: Do you have any new remixes on your slate?

Rudy: There will probably be a Suicide Commando song and a Velvet Acid Christ track remixed by :Wumpscut:.

Kevin: How did you hook up with Raoul for the Noisex release? Why did you contribute vocals on a number of songs?

Rudy: Raoul Revere is one of my personal friends, so I asked him to offer me several minimalistic rhythm-and-noise loops to modify. "Out of Order" was the first album by Noisex, and the second one will be "Over and Out". And about the vocals; I did it just for fun!

Kevin: Have you produced other artists besides Noisex?

Rudy: No, not at the moment. The remixes I have done so far have to be enough for now. I will not be doing a lot of production work in the future, because pearls in the mud are not so easy to find!

Kevin: How difficult is it to run your own label (Beton Kopf Media), even if you just release your own material on it? Why did you start up the label Mental Ulcer Forges?

Rudy: Beton Kepf Media is for :W: material exclusively! Mental Ulcer Forces was created for artists other than :W:. It is very easy to run BKM as :W: is selling itself without any efforts.

Kevin: How did you first hook up with SALT? Do you give SALT any ideas concerning the artwork or is it more a case of him listening to the music and coming up with his own pictures?

Rudy: Salt is the executive artist and I decide which images to use. He is a very close friend of mine and we both like to invite corpses to our birthdays.

Kevin: Why the inclusion of old, "gothicy" photographs in all of your releases? Do they convey a meaning?

Rudy: Have you ever seen such a nice corpse as on "Gomorra"? Or on "Bunker Gate Seven"? I like negative aesthetics a lot.

Kevin: Would you enjoy working with Michael Jackson in the future? What kind of music would you create with him?

Rudy: Yes. I would create plastic nose music. HA!

Kevin: In one interview you mentioned what a great movie Die Blechtrommel is. Could you tell me what the movie is about?

Rudy: It is a famous German movie done by Volker Schloendorff; it was written by the famous author Guenther Grass, and is about a small boy in Danzig who decides not to grow anymore because of the schizophrenic morality of society. It plays during World War II; many Nazis are around and they try to hide their true intentions. What a great movie!

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