Album Reviews

Hybrid – Morning Sci-Fi

(Distinctive Breaks) UK release date: 15 September 2003

Hybrid - Morning Sci-Fi It’s difficult second album timefor Hybrid, whose 1999 record Wide Angle announced them as quality purveyors of widescreen house and breakbeat, with the added bonus of a near classical mastery of orchestration in hits Finished Symphony and If I Survive. In demand as remixers from the likes of Radiohead, Moby and Future Sound Of London, they can afford to push the budget out a bit on Morning Sci-fi. In fact we find them in a similar frame of mind, still geared towards a Pro-Logic sound, but given a new lease of life with the addition of vocalist Adam Taylor, whose tone on True To Form is not unlike that of one time Mansun singer Paul Draper.

True To Form is one of two numbers featuring New Order bassist Peter Hook, who gives this track an edgy splendour with a riff straight out of his back catalogue. His influence is less obvious in Higher Than A Skyscraper, where a slow tempo and swirling portamento strings make a powerful impact.

Kirsty Hawkshaw lends vocals to Blackout, which is lyrically unconvincing, ending the album on an uncertain note. Better to head for one of the quality instrumentals such as Visible Noise, a wonderfully atmospheric intro leading to a pounding house beat and stabbing synths. I’m Still Awake is another shoe-gazing moment vocally, with Taylor emoting over a smoky electro-soul backdrop. Marrakech, one of the best tracks on the album, calls in Eastern influences to add some colour.

If you’ve just got a new hi-fi, this would be the sort of album to test it out with, since it uses everything but the kitchen sink orchestrally. This has enabled Hybrid to create an album that is rich in texture, colour and harmony but is often dark and menacing and not to be used as a pick-me-up!

On the evidence of this there’s big things ahead for the trio, whether it be in soundtracks or dance, with the prospect of Adam Taylor developing into a highly talented vocalist. Ones to watch.

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Hybrid – Morning Sci-Fi