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Hybrid interview - Symphonic Noise

Author: Terry Goldfain
Thursday, November 2, 2006
'Epic'. So fitting is this word in encapsulating Hybrid's sonic excursions that it is worthy of its own sentence. The break-beat outfit centred around Chris Healings and Mike Truman simply appear incapable of anything less than accomplishments that soar to majestic heights. From the magnitude of recording their debut album in '99, 'Wide Angle' with the 85 piece Russian Federal Orchestra to their almost incomprehensibly large discography of remixes, now totalling over 120 and including such artists as Future Sound Of London, UNKLE, Radiohead and REM they are indeed larger than life. Neither should it come as a surprise that the very cream of the crop are drawn to the duo, resulting in New Order's Peter Hook, Jane's Addiction/Porno For Pyro's front man Perry Farrell and arguably Hollywood's leading film composer, Harry Gregson Williams, all representing as both album contributors and members of the Hybrid live act.

In fact, the only aspect of Hybrid that should not be considered as being of epic proportions are their ego's, and I am certain that this view would be widely held amongst journalists that have interviewed them as well as fans to have met them.

Typical of their 'big-scale' mentality is Hybrid's focus on albums, a rarity for artists in the dance music arena considering success in this genre is almost completely judged on track sales alone. Yet the way Healings pauses before responding with a considered explanation suggests it is not an issue he has ever deemed important. "I guess we've always thought of ourselves as more of an album project but there isn't a particular reason I can think of why we didn't release more tracks between albums." He pauses once again and chuckles before continuing, "considering the amount of time that has passed between each of our albums it would probably make good marketing sense to release the ocassional track in between but that aspect seems to get neglected with the best ideas saved for the LPs."

When last I spoke to Healings, Hybrid had recently completed their first venture into mix compilations with their contribution to Distinctive's Y4K series and their sights firmly set on the completion of a third album. 1999's genre-defining 'Wide Angle' was followed in 2003 by 'Morning Sci-Fi', displaying a maturing sound influenced by bands such as Radiohead, Janes Addiction and The Doves. Similarly, dance music is far from the only inspiration for their latest album, 'I Choose Noise'. While admittedly the standards they set for themselves are as lofty as the heights to which their music often soars, both the duo at Hybrid's core and many of their fans consider their second album to be lacking in a few vital areas.

With bands like The Hives, Sex Pistols and Interpol providing inspiration for 'I Choose Noise', the band are quick to alleviate any concern I might have as to its direction. "The main inspiration has been the intensity, immediacy and energy of a lot of those bands. The edits, noises and beats are a lot rougher and fatter then on 'Morning Sci Fi'. The work we've been doing on score material and soundtracks also show in the album's mood."

It is at this point that I am reminded congratulations are in order. While having previously been involved in producing the scores for Tony Scott's 'Man On Fire' and 'Domino' and Ridley Scott's 'Kingdom of Heaven', last year they popped their collective cherry, so to speak, accomplishing a long-held goal of completing their first solo score. "The film's Twisted Pictures newest production, 'Catacombs' and it's being released early next year. Aside from album related stuff we've actually been really and I don't see things slowing down any time soon," confides Healings. "We co-wrote three tracks that will be on Perry Farrell's upcoming CD and we're working wi