A class act ever since their debut album Wide Angle in 1999, breakbeat band Hybrid just keep getting bigger and better. Originally comprising duo Mike Truman and Chis Healings, they’ve been joined by singer and guitarist Charlotte James for 2010. Their sound has been expanded too, with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra even appearing on this wonderful new album. Opener “Empire” sets the tone for this audacious set as a huge string-drenched intro gives way to an exhilarating stew of acid-synths and big beats. “Can You Hear Me Now” is just as epic, combining operatic vocals with a huge chorus from James.
Where Hybrid really stand out from the crowd is in their incredible range of styles and true to form, Disappear Here will keep listeners on their toes throughout. “Green Shell Suit” for example starts off as a dark and moody trip-hop beat before some warped pads get filtered up and usher in a cinematic key change and a host new instruments. On a more raucous vibe, “Take A Fall” takes on dubstep beats but with live drums and their trademark cinematic washes of sound. “City Siren” is a tense, all orchestral number (similar to The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life”) while “Formula Of Fear” is a rocking, electro-paced stomper with yet another perfect chorus sung by Charlotte James. It’s rare to hear an album with such variety in songs, yet done with a distinctive attitude and sound. Hybrid are just a class apart and Disappear Here is deep and textured enough to withstand many many listens.
Review: Oliver Keens