September 28, 2000

Test Spins

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Getting ready to join Moby on his US college tour, including a stop at good old Cornell, the British group Hybrid seems poised to increase their profile in the American dance music scene. Undoubtedly, the release of their debut album, Wide Angle, won’t do anything to hurt their chances.

The album is a rare entity: dance music that isn’t limited to the perspiring, ecstasy-fueled confines of a club. While the beats are danceable enough to keep a crowd moving, Wide Angle’s more subtle layers rise to the top during outside listenings. “I Know” is especially impressive, with an uber-subtle orchestral arrangement weaving its way around the pulsating beats.

While Hybrid’s debut is built on electronic blips and bumps, they manage to work in live instrumentation and vocals to give their music a unique character that is usually missing from this genre. From the romantic sax intro of “Beachcoma” to the guest vocals of the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde on “Kid 2000 (Edit),” none of the songs on Wide Angle lack their own human touch. And that’s exactly what makes it such a success. Because quite frankly, I’m all out of glow sticks. What’s a guy to do?

Archived article by Mike Giusto