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words: MICK WILSON TECH In the studio with Hybrid


With a career spanning over fifteen years, Hybrid have had numerous dancefloor progressive house and breaks hits. They’re now spreading their wings to the big screen, working on the soundtrack to the new Total Recall film. We go ‘Back To The Future’ to investigate how it all began…


ybrid burst onto the scene with the now- classic album ‘Wide Angle,’ and have gained recognition as one of the most cutting edge and technically skilled acts in electronic

music. They have just released a new album, ‘Classics’, which showcases many of their choice moments from the last dozen or so years. We jumped into the studio with the guys to reflect on their career so far and delve a bit deeper into the band’s metamorphosis from a heritage dance act to top-rung composers for film and games...

Chris Healing and Mike Truman were the original members of Hybrid, crafting their unique take on cinematic breaks for quite some time. Their breakthrough track ‘Finished Symphony’ introduced the Russian Federal Orchestra to the world of electronica, and Hybrid to the world of classical within dance music. It proved to be a set-finisher for DJs across the land, especially after it famously featured on Sasha & Digweed’s ‘Northern Exposure’ mix series. Their ‘I Choose Noise’ album pushed the boundaries of modern dance music further. It fused their propulsive arrhythmic breaks with strings, vivid harmonics and anthem-hurling guest vocalists. But it was their fourth studio album, ‘Disappear Here’, that heralded the entry of a new full-time member into the fold in the form of songwriter and composer Charlotte James.


Why did you engage a third member? Chris: “‘Disappear Here’ was a natural evolution from our previous albums. Charlotte comes from a singer/ songwriter/performer background and we drew heavily on her influences while working on this album. In joining forces, there’s a strong feeling of challenging ourselves, going somewhere else and doing something that will last longer in a live capacity. The music definitely reflects our desire to be a band firmly rooted in electronica. We all have our own parts to play when we write, and this made for something very exciting for the future.”

How did the jump from dance music to film scores start? Chris: “We were asked to arrange some custom audio for the Ice World scenes in Narnia. We’d go out and record creaking boats, breaking glass, wind... anything that we felt we could work with. We experimented with time-stretch software, homemade patches in Native Instruments Reaktor, Kyma and further processes until we got the impact we were after. Mike would then arrange it all to work with the score. “Our style of composing comes from combining three distinct angles: experimental sound design, propulsive rhythmic and melodic production, and haunting and emotive instrumentation. This, together with our tailored approach to orchestration — which ranges

from sweeping symphonics to terrifying acoustic noise — keeps us firmly rooted at the cutting edge of modern composition.”

And now you’ve just done the music for the remake of Total Recall? Mike: “Yeah, for Total Recall we worked alongside pre- eminent soundtrack composer Harry Gregson-Williams — we’ve worked with him in the past on other scores too. Harry would send us a cue and say, ‘This section needs to be bigger, scarier, more dramatic, we need louder sounds here’, and so on. We’d then work together as a team to create custom sounds, layers of production and musical themes and soundscapes. Sometimes we’d have free license to kick off a cue and develop ideas to send to Harry, who’d then use them as a basis to begin writing to. It’s a wonderfully collaborative relationship that has taken years of working together to be able to contribute to his working process seamlessly.”

You’ve also created music for games? Charlotte: “Writing music for a computer game differs quite significantly from writing on a movie. Firstly, on a game, you’re not working to picture. You’re given an

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