Hybrid (Welsh band)

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Hybrid Band.jpg
Background information
Also known as Hybrid Scores, Hybrid Soundsystem
Origin London, England
Genres Electronica, trip hop, breakbeat, progressive house, big beat, film score, electro-classical
Years active 1995–present
Labels Distinct'ive
Kinetic (former US label)
Kill City
Associated acts Harry Gregson-Williams, Way Out West, Julee Cruise
Website http://www.hybridsoundsystem.com/
Members Mike Truman
Charlotte James
Past members Chris Healings
Lee Mullin
Adam Taylor[1]

Hybrid are a British electronic music group previously based in Swansea, Wales, now based in Worcestershire, comprising Mike Truman and Charlotte James. Beginning in 1995, Mike Truman and previous band member Chris Healings were primarily known as a breakbeat collective, although they overlapped considerably with progressive house and trance. However, the band are now taking a more structured approach to song writing, with the addition of Charlotte James contributing to the writing and vocal process and developing their work in film scores and film music production. Hybrid are considered pioneers of the electronic genre, and have produced four studio albums, all garnering critical acclaim. They are known for their cinematic approach to their production, specifically with the use of orchestral sounds, which is particularly notable on their debut album Wide Angle when they collaborated with the Russian Federal Orchestra. Also over their career, they have produced over 100 remixes for over 40 artists including U2, Moby, Rob Dougan, R.E.M., The Future Sound of London. In 2015, Chris Healings left the group to concentrate on a solo career in sound design and DJing.[2]


1999-2000: Wide Angle[edit]

Hybrid released their debut album, Wide Angle, in 1999 – a combination of progressive house and nu skool breaks with vocals and symphonic textures. They hired the Russian Federal Orchestra for the string sections. Julee Cruise supplied many of the vocals for Wide Angle. The album was produced and written by the duo along with the third original band member, Lee Mullin. The music's cinematic feel and scope have led to comparisons with Massive Attack and Underworld.

The album spawned two singles, "Finished Symphony" and "If I Survive" (featuring Julee Cruise), both of which charted in the UK.

In 2000, Hybrid supported Moby in a live tour through multiple countries. Later that year, Hybrid released a double disc edition of Wide Angle titled Wider Angle. The second disc (dubbed "Live Angle") features a live set from the tour that includes previously unreleased tracks such as "Burnin'" and "Kill City".

2002-04: Morning Sci-Fi[edit]

Hybrid released their second album, Morning Sci-Fi, in 2003. They added semi-permanent vocalists and guitarists, Adam Taylor and Tim Hutton (both on the album and when performing live) with a guest appearance from New Order alumnus Peter Hook. This album had a generally darker theme than Wide Angle, though still retaining the cinematic undertones for which Hybrid are known. In addition to this, Morning Sci-Fi features a more diverse range of influences than its predecessor — Chris Healings stating in an interview that,

Three singles were released from Morning Sci-Fi. These were "True to Form", "Higher Than a Skyscraper" and "I'm Still Awake".

In 2004, Hybrid were invited by noted Hollywood film composer Harry Gregson-Williams, to work on the soundtrack for the film Man on Fire. The film marked not only Hybrid's first foray into film music, but also the duo's first collaboration with Harry Gregson-Williams, who continuously invited them to work on the soundtrack for movies like The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Total Recall. This also marked the first collaboration with the late film director Tony Scott. A collaboration which continued throughout the remainder of his career, until his death in 2012.

2006-08: I Choose Noise[edit]

On April 2006, Hybrid played at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on 29 April 2006. Later, the same year, Hybrid released their third studio album, I Choose Noise. The album featured the return of the epic symphonic sound and grand orchestral scope of Wide Angle. It featured Perry Farrell, John Graham (A fellow music producer, going by the name Quivver), Judie Tzuke and Kirsty Hawkshaw. Harry Gregson-Williams also appeared on the album, composing most of the album's string sections. Film composer Stephen Barton was also involved with the production of the album.

The album spawned three 12" singles due to popular demand shortly after its release: "Dogstar / I Choose Noise", "Falling Down / Last Man Standing" and "Dreamstalker / Just For Today". Many of the tracks from the album would later go on to be heavily played by DJs, as well as heavily featured in advertisements. In addition, 2 of the album's tracks "Dogstar" and "Dreamstalker" would later be re-recorded with Perry Farrell for his Satellite Party project. The project also featured another re-recording of his song "Orbit," which was previously unreleased. These recordings were later released on the album Ultra Payloaded, which was released in 2007.

On 8 March 2007, Hybrid kicked off their US Spring 2007 Live Tour in support of I Choose Noise. Hybrid was joined by John Graham, Peter DiStefano and their new female vocalist, Charlotte James. Later that same year, Distinct'ive Records released a compilation album: Hybrid Re_Mixed. It consisted of remixes of several compositions by Hybrid, with remixes by various artists, including deadmau5, Jerome Sydenham, The Cinematic Orchestra and The Orb, as well as a rare b-side track, named "Sleepwalking", originally meant for I Choose Noise. Despite this however, Hybrid had nothing to do with the release, as it was meant to be their last release with Distinct'ive. However, despite being managed by Hope Recordings, Hybrid still released their next few releases with Distinctive.

In 2007, the duo composed their first original soundtrack, for the film Catacombs. However, nothing of Hybrid's contributions were ever released, despite heavy fan demand, as of 2012.

2008 saw the release of Soundsystem_01. The album is a double-disc mix collection with the first CD being based around actual film scores fused with ambient electronica, and the second containing more upfront, club-oriented music represented by remixes of music by the likes of Sasha, Quivver and Elite Force.[4] Later that same year, Hybrid released a new single, entitled "The Formula of Fear", which featured Charlotte James on the vocals. Hybrid also contributed an original track "Komuru", to the Survival International charity album, Songs for Survival.

2009-11: Disappear Here[edit]

Besides collaborating with Harry Gregson-Williams, 2009 saw Hybrid focusing on the production of their fourth album. The album was originally finished in 2008, however the group described the album as indie rock and as a result, weren't sastified with the album, which led them to restart the production completely.[5] After several months of silence, their fourth album Disappear Here was finally finished and released on 29 March 2010. The album was made with Andrew Skeet and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra at Smecky Music Studios. A video recording of the track from the forthcoming album, entitled "Break My Soul", was also released which was filmed and edited by the band.[6] Disappear Here spawned several singles, and also rose to #2 at the iTunes electronic charts. The album was re-released in the same year, entitled Disappear Here: Widescreen Edition, which contained special edits, remixes and orchestral versions.

2010 also saw more collaborations with Harry Gregson-Williams. the duo helped finish the score for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and yet another Tony Scott production: Unstoppable.[7] This would prove to be the last collaboration with Tony Scott, with the director's death in 2012.

On 15 March 2011 Hybrid released the song "Blind Side" for free, as promotion for the single, which itself was officially released on 22 August 2011. The single was their first release for their new label Kill City Records.[8] Beyond this, Hybrid spent most of 2011 focusing on film score work. The group submitted two original tracks for the film Fast Five. They also helped finish the score for Cowboys & Aliens[9] and were working on the original soundtrack for the video game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which was released in May 2012.[10]

2012-17: Classics and Healings' departure[edit]

August 2012 saw the release of Classics out on Distinctive Records. The album was a greatest hits compilation, compiling the biggest hits from Hybrid's career. The album was released in a standard one disc edition, as well as a deluxe edition, consisting of 4 discs. The deluxe edition featured many alternative mixes and orchestral versions, as well as unreleased material, including much of the music that was made for advertisement agencies.[11]

In 2013, Hybrid finished working on a few soundtracks. One was for the video game Driveclub,[12] where the band composed all of the music, in addition to creating a new single for the game, entitled: "Be Here Now". They also finished work on a direct-to-video film: Dead in Tombstone. Their work (unlike for the previous film, Catacombs) was released by Back Lot Music on 15 October 2013. In 2014, the band finished a score for the science fiction film Vice, which was released on 30 May[13]

In 2016, Hybrid wrote the score for Jim Gillespie's Take Down.[14][15] Later that year, the band announced on Facebook that Healings had left the group in the summer of 2015.[2]

In 2017, Hybrid wrote the score for John Stephenson's Interlude in Prague,[16] for which Charlotte James was the music producer.[17] The soundtrack album was released by Kill City Records on 29 May 2017.[18]

Hybrid are currently completing their fifth studio album[19] which, originally scheduled for release in December 2014,[20] has been delayed. It was confirmed for release in 2017,[21] but with no firm release date.

Band members[edit]