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Record review


Though Welsh trio Hybrid's debut album, Wide Angle, has been released abroad for over a year, Hybrid -- Mike Truman, Chris Healings and Lee Mullin -- have managed to introduce their name on these shores to the lucky few primarily through some well-respected remixes of the likes of BT, Orbital, Filter and Moby (with whom they're touring).

Now Kinetic Records has finally released Wide Angle, a mix of pumping progressive trance, stylish breakbeat and symphonic sweep (courtesy of composer/arranger Sacha Puttnam and the 90-piece Russian Federal Orchestra). Plus, Hybrid found their "techno diva" in Julee Cruise, whose haunting vocals are best known for adding to the creeping dread of David Lynch projects. Having recorded in Moscow, London and New York, Wide Angle is truly a cultured affair.

Hybrid's bass is fluid; it flows smoothly, broken occasionally by mechanical burps that provide release. Hybrid's style of nu skool breaks almost acts like the progressive trance cousin of drum 'n' bass. While the manic pace of the beats of d 'n' b can be impossible to keep up with, dancers can follow the half-speed rumble of the sub-bass. But with Hybrid, the breakbeats and synth stabs follow a whip's pace, while strings allow dancers to trace patterns at half time in the air and across their eyelids.

The American version of Wide Angle, for whatever reason, replaces two songs on the import with edits of more recent singles "Altitude," "Kill City" and an edit of "Kid 2000," written by and featuring the Pretender's Chrissie Hynde. Acidic but not searing, shaking but not jarring, Hybrid are a rare mixed breed.

Hybrid perform at the Tabernacle, Wed., Nov. 1.

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