Apoptygma Berzerk – Exit Popularity Contest
After selling out in a big way with their two alt/pop/rock albums from the late 2000s, Apoptygma Berzerk imploded. Currently sole member Stephan Groth disappeared, occasionally releasing vinyl EPs that no one in America will ever hear without dropping fifteen bucks on shipping. Exit Popularity Contest is the end result of these years of obscurity. Free from the tyrannical grasp of Sony Music GmbH and any sort of major mainstream aspirations, perhaps Stephan’s on the verge of a synth-laden classic?
About ten minutes in and you’ve uncovered the answer: Exit Popularity Contest is less the future of electronic music and more like old Kraftwerk. And by old, I mean they excavated this shit from King Tut’s tomb. All of the tracks are instrumental, with slow, chill melodies overlapping repetitive pulses. It’s so sparse and stripped back that there’s really not a lot to say.
So I won’t. This album’s boring and Stephan’s vocals are relegated to a “remix” thrown at the end of the album. To me, it just seems like a lazy way to score coke.