The greatest Welsh outfit since wearing leeks as socks and sheep as sandles are back, Hybrid, after 3 years away from our shelves hit our record stores again with `I Choose Noise’. Their last two long players, Wider Angle and Morning Sci-Fi were progressive break masterpieces, so anticipation for the third album has been huge. I’m sure that all fans of electronic music have been blown away by a Hybrid track, remix or edit at some point. Their orchestral sound chart has been a massive limb of their productions for years, borrowing from the talents of the Russian Federal Orchestra and St Petersburg Hermitage Orchestra to form epic tracks and more recently sound tracks; for films such as Man On Fire, starring Denzel Washington, involvement also in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom Of Heaven and Tony Scott’s most recent effort Domino and finally their first complete film score, Catacombs. This album very much reflects the direction that Mike Truman and Chris Healing’s career has taken in recent years. The album could almost be a soundtrack itself. It is unfair to consider the Hybrid lads as simply music producers… they are modern day composers, they make music that stands the test of time and that stands up on its own, not born out of influences but born to influence others. Masterful works.
The albums starts with an intro really, `Secret Circles’ starts off with some beautiful strings that build up with more orchestral depth, setting an atmosphere. You could very much imagine this being the start of a film, the start of a journey or a beginning to a story.
Up next is `Dogstar’, a driving beatfest of a track, with the hybrid signature filtered percs and some distorted synth work, the track couples this with dramatic strings and U2esque vocals from Perry Farrell. Awesome atmospheric effects to boot. A bit of Sci-fi hip-hop is how I’m going to describe the next track. The title track ‘I Choose Noise’ has big beats, Urban effects, hip vocals and bucket loads of drama. Sounds very much like the backing to a film scene. `Falling Down’ honours Hybrid’s club traditions with solid fourtothefloor, bouncy filtered bass and the infectious vocal talent of Judie Tzuke. Very techy synth work and euphoric orchestral composition. Would make a massive trance track on the remix. ‘Last Man Standing’ has a very eastern feel to it, the percussion, the horns and effects are aggressively influenced by the east. The toms, horns and shrilling flutes along with the string stabs are beautifully programmed in the build leading to the break. ‘Hooligan Spirit’ is pure stomping Sci-fi electronic filth. Awesome stuff, trippy, bleepy synth workout with a break down from Predator for sure.
It seems like we’re focused on convincing you that the album sounds like a soundtrack to a movie, but it is obvious that their recent venture in to composing film scores has had a huge influence on the direction of this album. I’m a fan and I’m sure you will be too.
Hypnotic, druggy and completely tripped out, `Choke’ is melancholy at its finest. John Graham of Quivver fame provides the vocals which add to the eerie environment you find in the track. Spooky downtempo break greatness, one of the highlights of the album. ‘Keep It In The Family’ adds more spooky filtered Sci-Fi to the album, haunting stabs and strings keep you entertained on this one. `Until Tomorrow’ has a very UNKLE / Ian Brown sound to it. Acoustic guitars and echoed indie style vocals provided again by John Graham. This is very much an acoustic piece, minimal percussion but plenty of guitar laden sounds to get your lobes around. Nice laid back sofa sounds. By far my favourite track on the CD though is ‘Dream Stalker’. Dark, Druggy, Delayed, Driving, Dubby funk stuff. It is everything I like about Hybrid and some. Spooked out spoken vocal, then a guitar teases and slams you straight back into funk land. Lovely.
Finally, there is no great finish without a Kirsty Hawkshaw finish. ‘Just For Today’ is the most epic of all the tracks and samples from the entire Hybrid sound scope. Orchestral strings, Sci-fi effects, solid drum patterns and warped rhythm. Hawkshaws operatic lead vox are great at building the break, a fitting end to an awesome CD.
(9 out of 10)
I Choose Noise is available now at Amazon.co.uk for the sum of £8.99.