The Perfect World - Review
New York's Interface
is the solo project of Eric Eldredge. Started back in 1993 we've been treated to some great music over the years.
Here we have the fifth studio album from this project featuring a diverse style of electronic music across a selection of thirteen solid tracks. Fans of the
various styles of electro-industrial, EBM and electro-pop will enjoy much of the diversity on this album.
It all kicks off with a short intro track "Ignition" before jumping into the first single / EP release from this album "It Begins Today". On this piece and
across much of the duration of the album we're featured with a very techno-rich style of EBM music with swooshing synths, heavy, pulsating electronic loops
layered over a driving beat. The vocals on this and much of the album are clear and solid without any distortion or harshness, creating a very melodic sound.
This piece is an obvious selection as a favorite from the album and as it rolls on, many more stand out as moving and catchy pieces. The album is loaded with
club-friendly pieces as the album moves along. "In Fidelity" and "Stateless" cast off the warmth of humanity and bring out the slightly vocoded vocals for
more of a robotic style. Though the tracks are somewhat cold and machine-focused, they remain melodic and catchy with mesmerizing synths and dance-friendly
beats. "Everyone Listening" and "Square One" form a couple of other dance tracks with a smooth electro-pop style, though keeping up the techno influences
of the layered synths and pounding beats.
While the above-mentioned tracks form the overall body or meat of the album, it is broken up with several varied pieces from instrumentals, down-tempo
and other styles. Some of these pieces mainly just serve to break up the album a bit as a sort of interlude, while others stand well on their own. Something
you don't really expect from this artist is a nice down-tempo piece like "I Don't Dream Anymore" with a slow beat and somber lyrics and vocals for a definite
change in pace and mood from the rest of the album. A couple of instrumental pieces come at just the right spots on the album and as a finale, it wraps up
with "Eulogy" which is a great experimental, almost ethereal instrumental piece, providing a great ending to the album.
That mostly covers it in a nutshell. Fans of the more techno-driven electro-pop music should really enjoy this album. It's diverse enough that it should
appeal to a broader audience, yet focused enough that die-hard fans of the driving techno-laced EBM sound will love it.
Beyond Humanity - Review
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
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
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.
Label: Nilaihah Records