At times the record does seem to hold the listener aloof, as on Schadenfreunde and Ganz Ganz Ganz Genau which do have a little of Klaus Dinger’s glacial utopian spirit about them.
Consisting mostly of perky instrumentals with a shiny electronic coating, this is a strange but enjoyable pop record, one that at times sounds as if someone on an enormous dose of Ritalin had tried to pay homage to those early New Order b-sides like Mesh or Wire. Tinny and packed with appealing hooks and riffs, and very much like glitch electronica like the Music for Peoples EP, Pop Campaign nonetheless reveal a gauche, spiky and somewhat sarcastic side. At times the record does seem to hold the listener aloof, as on Schadenfreunde and Ganz Ganz Ganz Genau which do have a little of Klaus Dinger’s glacial utopian spirit about them.
There’s some very endearing music on here: the opener Pop Campaign Theme Tune is a sparkling number boasting a catchy if repetitive hook and a drum fill that was reserved for some of the worst records of the 1980s. No matter as it works on this because – like most other tracks here – there’s a tremendous sense of balance and a sure touch in navigating through all the competing blurts and squeaks. Now and again there’s a throbbing pulsating beat that could erupt into something else, you can hear this on Come Whine With Me or THHSAKK – a track which feels like Visage’s Fade to Grey at times, albeit a take made out of Mecano.
It’s not all short and sweet either; at 10 minutes, Kleine Keine is a long and pretty determined mid-tempo trance, which works due to the fact that it jumps around in key and pace now and again. It’s ambitious in that it manages to maintain a weak and shallow sound over such a long period of time. And like most of the record it’s that little bit reserved, and hints at a more sinister outlook underneath the glossy surface.
This is a good, quietly determined record, and one that gets under your skin.