:CD Review: Apoptygma Berzerk – Black EP Vol 2

Apoptygma Berzerk – Black EP Vol 2
Released: September 13, 2011
Label: Metropolis Records
Website: theapboffice.com

Review by: Mary Bauer

In January of 2009, Apoptygma Berzerk released Rocket Science, a near perfect mix of electro and alt rock. And, while that may seem like an odd pairing, APOP pulled it off effortlessly. In fact, everything APOP does seems effortless. So it should come as no surprise, that yet again, Stephan Groth has put together an amazing record with the help of some friends.

Black EP Vol 2 serves as a companion record to Rocket Science, consisting of unreleased remixes and exclusive tracks. The end result is an infectious dance record that will have you moving along from beginning to end. Every remix included is well put together and manages to remove every alt rock element of the originals and replace them with electro versions that any music fan should love. This is a non-stop dance party!

The EP opens with Spektralized taking on “Asleep or Awake”. In its original form, it’s an 80’s tinged new wave rocker but in its remixed form the rock part is removed, replaced by heavy synths and beats, guaranteed to get everyone on the dance floor.

OK Minus takes on “Eclipse” while People Theater and Essence of Mind remixed “Shadow”. “Apollo” is on here three times with Flipside & Parsberg, Rotersand and Alex O’s Old School at the controls. “Green Queen” also gets multiple remixes by Stanley Cupid, Outer/Innerpartysystem and Client; who contribute additional vocals turning “Green Queen” into a duet.

There isn’t much to say about these remixes except that they are perfect. They succeed in keeping the modern spirit of the songs and not losing the overall atmosphere. It is clear these are still APOP songs. But while the remixes make Black EP Vol 2 worth picking up, the real stars of the release are the two new tracks included.

With “Adrift”, Stephan Groth manages to mix 2011 with 1984 and do it brilliantly. From the first verse: “I saw a flash of light today. I gave my word, I shouldn’t run away. It seems my pride is now at stake. Now that my true colors are displayed” the song sucks you in and will have you singing along to new wave synths that would make Giorgio Moroder envious.

APOP then takes on a classic, a song that any lesser artist would be smart to steer clear of, Joy Division’s song of mourning and unhappiness “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. Here is a cover that is almost perfect in everyway, and may even be better than the original. This is a cover done out of respect and love for the song. It is more up to date and musical than the original. Ian Curtis was unique, and APOP doesn’t trying to imitate him. This song is all APOP. Though, Stephan Groth doesn’t quite match the sorrow in Ian’s vocals, it is a fitting tribute to one of the most influential bands of our time.

The two new releases, along with the remixes make this release a must have for any music fan who enjoy infectious, upbeat, melodic dance songs. Longtime fans should love it and new fans should like hearing alternate versions of the already perfect songs.

And don’t forget to scan the QR Code with your QR Reader for an extra special download from Metropolis Records.

Track Listing

01. Asleep Or Awake? (Spektralized RMX)
02. Eclipse (OK Minus RMX)
03. Shadow (People Theatre RMX)
04. Apollo (Flipside & Parsberg RMX)
05. Green Queen (Stanley Cupid RMX)
06. Love Will Tear Us Apart
07. Adrift (C-64 Version)
08. Green Queen (Client RMX)
09. Apollo (Rotersand Rework)
10. Shadow (Essence Of Mind RMX)
11. Apollo (Alex O’s Old School RMX)
12. Green Queen (Outer/Innerpartysystem RMX)

Download Black EP Vol 2 from Amazon MP3