Tuesday 19 July 2016

Review: Various Artists – 'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk'

'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk'

Electrozombies' first compilation album 'Undead and Open Minded Volume 1' was a great exhibition of up and coming as well as established electronic music talent that covered a wide variety of genres. Fast-forward a few months and the next Electrozombies compilation is an official tribute album to Norway's electronic darlings Apoptygma Berzerk. Now Tribute albums can either be really interesting or really bland. I can think of way too many “tributes” where the majority of the album sounds pretty faithful to the originals with few acts daring to make the songs their own. Thankfully 'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk' doesn't fall into this trap.

As will the first compilation album, 'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk' is a good blend of established acts as well as younger ones covering genres like darkwave, ebm, synthpop, industrial and more. As a result there are plenty of acts more than willing to take apart the originals and re-imagine them as Apop have done on their own covers in the past.

Artists such as Electrogenic, Vogon Poetry, Machinista, IIOIOIOII, Corlyx, Sad January, Synapsyche, and Technomancer featuring Angst Pop provide the album with just a few of its highlights giving their tracks stunningly original reinterpretations across the board. None of the 20 tracks on show here tread water or attempt to do a note-for-note cover. All of the bands and artists have dug deep and brought something interesting to the table. Some have switched genres and kept the original dance feel of the tracks, whereas others have been a little more dramatic in their offerings. But in every case it works.

In terms of production there is of course the usual compilation issue of the individual quality of the tracks due to the different genres and recording styles (and budgets). However, however the album has been arranged and mastered so that these differences are not glaringly obvious and don't detract from the album's momentum.

Love them or hate them, there is still a place for tribute albums if they are done with real conviction and not just as a cynical ploy for bands to cash in on someone else's fame. If you're a fan of Apop or just like a good compilation album featuring a great mix of talented artists then 'Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk' is a good choice.  

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