Apoptygma Berzerk is so far known for combining electronica with alternative rock, but with The Black EP Vol. 2, the alternative rock gets gutted and removed in favor of pure electronics without missing a single step. Comprised of various remixes as well as some original tracks, The Black EP Vol. 2 is full of heart pounding drums, deep electronic bass, melodic vocals, and infectious synths that will most likely stick into your head long after the listening experience is over. Apoptygma Berzerk shines well in this remix EP where most bad would fall to redundancy and overall repetition. The remixes are literal re-imaginings of each track and this alone makes it worth experiencing. Add the original tracks into the mix and this is a strong release that most anyone from the electronic scene will want to check out and dance to.
The EP begins with the pulsing Spektralized remix of “Asleep or Awake,” an electronica mix that is sure to have anyone dancing to its up-tempo beat and epic electro keys. The melodic vocals here make for a great combination and a great way to open the EP. People Theatre’s remix of “Shadow” is another up-tempo song full of steady drums and pulsing bass that pushes you to body movement. Immediately following is the Stanley Cupid remix of “Green Queen,” which follows a similar style to its predecessor, albeit maybe a little slower in tempo. “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” an epic standout track and a fantastic Joy Division cover, sounds absolutely brilliant sitting right in the middle of the EP and is a welcome addition that is sure to garner repeat listens. Also notable is the epic and grainy C-64 version of “Adrift” with its harsher vocals and infectious synths that you won’t be able to get out of your head once you’ve heard them. In fact, the only misstep that could be said for The Black EP Vol. 2 is that it is comprised of several remixes of the same songs. However, they are all so different and so well done that it is easy to ignore that you’re hearing a different version of the same song. Repetition, aside from vocally, is nearly nonexistent and that’s what makes this EP so compelling. The high powered album ending of the Outer/Innerpartysystem remix of “Green Queen” also hammers this point home sounding nothing like its counterparts and taking the album home on a massively powerful note.
Apoptygma Berzerk has done well with The Black EP Vol. 2, full of raging synths, crisp vocals, great, powerful bass lines and melodies rounding out this remarkable project. The only complaint here is that there are several remixes of the same songs, but don’t let that scare you because they all sound like true remakes, brand new songs in many ways aside from the lyrics. For fans of Apoptygma Berzerk or simply fans of the genre, this one is a must own, or at the very least a must hear.
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Ovis Terrell Ross (TreverAeonIO)