Amongst a sea of competitors, Hybrid leave little doubt that they're the best.
Robert Jackman 2008-07-09
Famed for their intense soundscapes, British producers Hybrid kick off their summer with a new album release. Their 2006 offering, I Choose Noise, is still ringing fresh on British dance-floors, but this time they've opted for something different – a double remix album.
Soundsystem 01 (the first in a series, or just a quirky title – we’re not really sure) is a mixed bag. The first disc builds on Hybrid's excellent record for film scores: they’ve tweaked knobs for the Chronicles of Narnia and Kingdom of Heaven. But instead of a cinematic portfolio of their own work, Soundsystem 01 toys with the works of others – holding them all together with Hybrid's audio narrative. As you might expect of a project that leaps from 28 Days Later to Babel (a strange DVD collection; let alone a remix album), the result is a little disjointed. There are some strong points, but Disc One falls a little short of its potential.
It is Part Two that makes Soundsystem shine. Slightly techier than Hybrid's back catalogue; their second remix project is essentially a panoramic tour of Europe's progressive techno scene. And amongst a sea of competitors, Hybrid leave little doubt that they're the best. The result blends the likes of Sasha and Elite Force with an approach that's quirky and outgoing, yet utterly meticulous.
Soundsystem 01 should fill the gap until Hybrid's next full album. A record which, judging from what can be heard here, may be very interesting indeed.