Since first bursting onto the scene with the now classic album Wide Angle in 1999, the Swansea, Wales-based Hybrid has been known as one of the most forward thinking and technically skilled acts in electronic dance music.
Blurring the line between in-studio production and live presentation, Hybrid is one of the few remaining dance acts to perform live with a classic band setup. Though, much has changed on the road to Hybrid's fourth artist album Disappear Here. Most notable is the addition of Hybrid's third member – singer/ songwriter Charlotte James – to go along with founders Chris Healings and Mike Truman.
Charlotte's impact is marked as Disappear Here is truly an album of real songs and not merely dance beats with vocals on top. It offers a lot more than anything Hybrid has ever previously written and pushes boundaries in every way. Release date: March 29, 2010
With Disappear Here, Hybrid has managed to create an epic and unique sound which has progressed dramatically from its original dance inception but still retains much of what makes electronic music so exciting. "This album offers a lot more than anything we've managed to write in the past," Healings says. "Charlotte comes from that singer/songwriter/performer world and she really inspired us to write something much more song based. Working so much with her we feel like there's a feeling of going somewhere else or doing something that will last longer in a live capacity. The music definitely reflects our desire to be a band but firmly rooted in dance music."
As the opening track for the album, "Empire" meets Healings' statement of intent for the album. Its pounding live drums and moody, tense atmospherics set the stage and gradually build layers of electric guitars and sweeping strings performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. "Can You Hear Me" is a shining moment for Charlotte; combining her powerful vocals with soaring strings and the bass playing of Tim Hutton (Ian Brown, The Prodigy), while "Green Shell Suit" is chill out at its finest. "Every Word" brings a warm, organic feel with the combination of haunting slide guitar, a warm arpeggiated acoustic and a brace of wonky but playful sound design before the stadium electronica of "Formula of Fear" presents one of the album's most intense peaks. Venturing further on, "Salt" is encrusted with warped bass lines and brush drums; "Original Sin" is a cinematic house music monster and "Take A Fall" features a rock-breaks edge with Tim Hutton grabbing hold of the mic. Before closing out with the divine "Numb," Hybrid presents the album's touchstone and first single "Break My Soul." It's all huge from the triumphant chorus and epic strings to a huge bass line and drums.
One constant that's remained with Hybrid since its inception is the advanced way in which Healings and Truman create music. In an era of laptop production, Hybrid is notable in their use of top analog gear and full orchestras on their recordings. When the computer does come into play it's typically complicated sound design software like Native Instruments Reaktor and Symbolic Sound's Kyma X that's used to create unique stylized sounds. This skill opened up an entire new world for Hybrid in the area of music production for television and feature films.
"Can You Hear Me"
"Green Shell Suit"
"Formula of Fear"
"City Siren (Reprise)"
"Take A Fall"
"Break My Soul"