"Hell Me" percolates to life on tangled arpeggios, eventually stumbling into lead single "De Ciel," with which its rigid, neurotically-perfect groove and clipped, catchy vocal, sounds ripe for an iPod commercial (turned into a sensually nocturnal throbber by Max Ulis). Slade's vocals are the most distinctive part of Humans' appeal, gruff, yelped phrases that you don't usually hear in this kind of dance music, a sometimes gritty contrast with the ebullient beats. They work best on EP highlight "Possession," with layered chants contributing to the feverish machine energy as the song explodes into LFO rumbles like it's catching fire. The EP's eight tracks blend seamlessly, turning the 25-minute EP into an organically respirating, carefully-paced entity.
For two artists who admittedly don't come from dance music backgrounds, it's interesting to hear what they do with house forms: on the robo-tribal of "On Pagaie" they overload every bar with as many snares that can possibly fit, giving the otherwise perfunctory synth riff a desperate urgency it'd lack otherwise. They exploit the same device on the more downbeat "Horizon," lending emphasis to specific moments with little pockets of crackling percussive sounds. The duo prove they can do mellow just as well with the title track and closer, two minutes of swirling, sepulchral pipe organ that recalls the paradoxically regal blues majesty of John Paul Jones' best moments in Led Zeppelin.