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Interface Album Reviews - Beyond Humanity

Review by Shrike for Remixwars November 2005 www.remixwars.com

The third album from Interface arrives finally after a long 3 year wait since Angels In Disguise in July 2002. The album begins with a moody sample taken from the film Equilibrium, setting the futuristic and somewhat dystopian theme of the album as seen from the full opening track The Age of Computers, its a strong dancey number that should be popular on the dancefloors. The next track is the first display of the harder Funker Vogt-ish feeling of some of the tracks here. Wonderland is a slower paced tune that really displays the bands song writing skills, it would work well in acoustic form with just guitar and vocal. Track 5 - Despair, is an instrumental ending in a nice uplifting almost euphoric trance style. The albums title track Beyond Human continues the futuristic theme with heavily vocoded Kraftwerkian voice accompanyied by electro beeps and moving again into a straighforward almost euphoric trance for the second half. It can appear to be an odd mix if you arent famililar with the genre, with some loving the first half but not the final half because of the change into openly trance influenced coming into effect so sharply. More science fiction theming in Stranger In A Strange Land, another slower paced track about change, the fear of it and its necessity. Track 8 - Insomniac is the albums weakest track for me with just not alot happening in it. Nobody"s Hero could be a long lost Funker Vogt track as it follows that bands style and construction pretty much perfectly but here thankfully the band didnt remake this track 10 times for the album. The similarity is apparently accidental including the name having no relation to FV"s Tragic Hero or Fallen Hero. Faith In nothing, the penultimate track should again have the dancefloors filled everywhere without too much trouble. Finally Darkness Prevails closes things with more Kraftwerkian electronica and serious vocoding. Despite the pessimistic name this mostly instrumental seems to speak with some hope to me for a bright future if we want it.

Note: Shrike reviewed a pre-release version known as the "Standard Edition" without the bonus tracks.

Review at Chain DLK May 2006 www.chaindlk.com

Beyond Humanity, the third album from New York-based Interface, offers a refreshing earful of forward-thinking, futuristic electro-pop. This highly-charged melodic escapade expands outward from its understated opening track, “Gravity,” accelerating from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye. Staccato beats and fluid arpeggios sizzle around the vocoded articulations of singer Eric Eldredge as “Age of Computers” kicks into high gear. “Mind Killer” shows off the programming and arrangement skills of Eldredge and bandmate Jon Billian, as this highly infectious dance track palpitates like a heart on the verge of infarction! The place slows a bit on “Wonderland,” but cranks back up again on “Despair,” a repetitious but energetic instrumental. “Stranger in a Strange Land” incorporates samples and some nicely executed vocal melodies in a very palatable fashion. The vocoder returns on the title track, “Beyond Human,” along with some very familiar, euphonic retro beats and effects – musically and thematically, one must believe there’s a nod to techno godfathers Kraftwerk in here somewhere! “Insomniac” slams on the breaks, its slow, flowing beat giving it a much darker sheen than the rest of the album. “Nobody’s Hero” is definitely a cut above, and should emerge as a dancefloor favorite for clubgoers this summer. “Faith in Nothing” closes out the album nicely, though I had to laugh while listening to the chorus, as I was reminded of the nihilists from “The Big Lebowski” – we believe in nothing! As this is an Expanded Edition, six additional remix tracks (some from deleted releases on the now-dormant Tinman record label) have been included on the disc. Contributors to this effort include Assemblage 23, Stromkern, Combichrist, Imperative Reaction, and DJ Sean Tyas. “Clear Night,” remixed here by Sean Tyas, originally appeared on 2002’s “Angels in Disguise.” “Doubts and Fears,” an 80’s new-wave influenced track originally available via the internet, was previously only available in CD format on the “State of Synthpop 2005” 5-disc set. The other remixes feature songs from this album that sound significantly different from the originals, making for a really nice mixture of styles. Jump on this!

Review by Jeremy for Virus Magazine April 2006 www.virus-mag.com

I found "Beyond Humanity“ to be a pretty good release, overall. The lyrics are above average, if a bit sci-fi cliche on some numbers. The more emotional songs are excellent in their lyrical content, though. "Beyond Humanity“ also has some fantastic synth work, and the beats are fairly diverse; although, I feel the bass could have used a little more punch and the tempos could have varied a bit more.
Regardless, this CD will definitely find favor with club patrons and those who like to move their booty. The music runs the gamut between borderline synthpop and colder EBM. I like this kind of diversity, but I did have one issue with it here. The vocals just don’t seem to fit in right on the harder songs. Of course, this is just my personal opinion. Personally, my favorite song on this CD is the "Wasted Time" remix by Stromkern. The bass in this song is phenomenal! That being said, "Beyond Humanity“ is an above average electro release. I give it my seal of approval.

Review by Davitch for Gothtronic Magazine Summer 2006 www.gothtronic.com

"Beyond Humanity" is Interface's third full-length album. The long-awaited follow-up to their 2002 breakthrough "Angels in Disguise" was recorded entirely in the computer environment, and reflects a more focused and aggressive sound than its predecessor while retaining founder Eric Eldredge's melody and songwriting touch. "Beyond Humanity" is a well balanced album with a good equilibrium between uptempo tracks and listening songs. Easy listening Electropop with a dance & trance mood. "Age of Computers" and "Mindkiller" are immediatly bulls eye. Another top track is "Beyond Human" which has a "krafty" vintage touch due to the vocoder use. If you fancy VNV Nation and adepts you will probably like this release, but also trance lovers who go for a sound of Blank&Jones or Cosmic Gate will dig this one too.

Review by Jason Baker for Synthpop.net Summer 2006 www.synthpop.net

This is Interface's third full-length album, here released in a expanded edition that includes 6 bonus tracks taken from previous limited EP's and singles. The album was released in 2006 on Nilaihah Records, more than ten years after the inception of the band in 1993. Interface is made up of Eric Eldredge (everything) and Jon Billian, keyboardist, and is based in New York. The musical style presented on this album is dark EBM and Industrial, with enough pop elements blended in to make the music accessible.

The opening track, "Gravity", begins with a eerily desolate musical landscape, which is then joined by a disturbing sample from the movie Equilibrium. "Age Of Computers" follows, and this track seems tailor made to be a anthem for those involved in the technical profession. Not only that, it's a excellent dance track as well, and the remixes by Assemblage23 and Imperative Reaction only serve to emphasize that fact.

Thankfully, that's not the sole highlight of the disc. The hard-edged EBM of "Mindkiller" immediately follows "Age Of Computers", and shortly thereafter is the excellent club track "Despair". "Stranger In A Strange Land" is probably the most synthpop-oriented track on the disc, but that isn't a negative comment at all - more of a reflection of how many styles this disc successfully incorporates along the way. "Beyond Human" has very Kraftwerkian vocal effect used throughout, but the modern EBM music style keeps the track feeling very fresh. The non-remix portion of the disc closes with "Nobody's Hero" and "Faith In Nothing", both excellent EBM tracks.

Just about all the remixes are also outstanding. The "Faith In Nothing" remix seemed to tip the scales just a bit too far in regard to the original song versus new elements. Other than that one issue, this is a great crop of remixes, and add a lot of value to the album. I think that if you enjoy bands such as Endanger or Namnambulu, but prefer a more EBM slanted approach, you'll love this disc. I know I do.

Review by Bjorn Andersson on NeuroZine Summer 2006 www.neurozine.com

US-based band Interface is back with their third studio album and with new material in over three years. A lot has happened with Interface since the last album "Angels In Disguise" arrived in late 2002 and you notice right away that Eric Eldredge and Jon Billian have put a lot of work during this time to create "Beyond Humanity". You can't complain on the sound, it is futurepop and this is the world we live in, it is danceable and really great and the production is allot better then before. Every minute have been used and this record is loaded to the max.

"Beyond Humanity" contains several really great tracks of danceable dark electronic like Age Of Computers, Mind Killer, Beyond Human, Despair among many others. The offer the listeners something extra, this album includes six bonus tracks with remixes from Assemblage 23, Stromkern, Combichrist, Imperative Reaction and Sean Tyas. For you out there who like those and looking for something new with same great sound, then Interface is something I can strongly recommend. They combine dark electro with elements from trance and industrial to get that right feeling that will make you dance.

Review on Gothic Paradise (no author) Summer 2006 www.gothicparadise.com

Even though this is the first time many of us have heard of the band Interface, this is actually their third full-length album. On Nilaihah Records, it comes presented as the "Expanded Edition" which contains ten solid original tracks and six bonus tracks that would have probably been released as a separate single in other circumstances.  I always think this is a nice approach to have them bundled onto one disc since the days of buying a "single" in the store is a thing of the past with the digital music revolution and being able to buy single tracks at a music download site.  However I still think the best albums and bands are those that can package an entire disc in such a way that it's good enough that it's best to listen to in it's entirety.  And with this album they manage to pull it together well in that sense.

The album starts with a short, spatial ambient intro with some sci-fi post-apocalyptic spoken word samples and then jumps right into the pounding beats and futuristic theme with "Age of Computers".  The vocoded vocals are a nice touch on this track giving it that mechanical and over-the-top digital feeling (or lack of feeling).  However, the melodic vocals interspersed between the mechanical gives the track a human touch and should really please synthpop fans.  This theme of Beyond Humanity remains strong throughout the album providing a cohesive theme and smooth transition between tracks making the entire album nice to listen to.  A few tracks have various samples included which add some nice accents to each piece.  "Mind Killer" builds on this feature and some harsher vocals and heavy bass and beats for another excellent dance track that has quickly become a favorite on this disc.  This heavier, more aggressive tone and harsh vocals is actually more of the exception, which is nice in today's onslaught of vocals that sound like the vocalist has gargled gasoline.

Adding some nice variety to the album are the mid-tempo pieces "Wonderland" and "Insomniac" with a heavy, but smooth trip-hop beat and non-distorted vocals.  "Stranger in a Strange Land" also moves away from the industrial edge with some smooth, melodic synth loops and clear vocals. We're also treated with a moving instrumental piece "Despair" which builds on some solid synth loops and dance-friendly beats.   And really moving into another realm is "Beyond Human" which takes the name to a new level with all computerized vocals while the music creates a moving, dance-friendly atmosphere.  And to wrap up the original tracks on the album is the track "Faith in Nothing" which jumps back into the harder edged industrial rhythms and slight distortion.  This powerful piece provides a nice ending to the regular album tracks ending on a strong note.

The bonus material presented include two mixes of "Age of Computers" by Assemblage 23 and Imperative Reaction. Stromkern lends their unique flavor to "Wasted Time" and Combichrist pumps up the intensity with a remix of "Faith in Nothing". "Clear Night" appears as a bonus piece, this version a remix by Sean Tyas. The original versions of both "Clear Night" and "Wasted Time" originally appear on the band's 2002 album Angels in Disguise. The 2004 internet-only track appears here as the finale to the album presenting the heavy 80's new wave influence that is so catchy and makes a great way to wrap up the album. All of these bonus pieces are really great. I'm not always a huge fan of remixes, or singles with tons of remixed tracks, but each of these are done really well, so I have to say that this album comes highly recommended for electronic music fans.

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