I CHOOSE NOISE2012-05-06 at 08:02 am Blog RSS
Hybrid’s first album (Wide Angle) raised the bar for dance music. The Welshmen were not the first producers to combine trance and breakbeats (BT and Way Out West started doing it a few years earlier). However, with the addition of real strings and dark atmospheric effects, Hybrid improved the formula. A year later, the album was re-released – as a double disc set with live material and bonus tracks. Kid 2000 features Chrissie Hynde on vocals. Extensive touring (initially as Moby’s support act) increased awareness of the band. Hybrid remained an ‘underground’ dance act though Hybrid is generally underrated. Mike Truman and Chris Healings have produced some great dance music over the past thirteen years (including over a hundred remixes).
The next two albums flirted with rock music. Musicians such as Perry Farrell (Jane’s Addiction) and Peter Hook (New Order) added guitars and vocals. Morning Sci-fi and I Choose Noise are both quite dark albums. Following a collection of remixes and the Soundsystem_01 compilation, Hybrid released album number four (Disappear Here). It is a shade lighter – on the whole. The main vocalist and lyricist on the album is Charlotte James. She also contributed guitar, piano and cello parts. It is the sound of Hybrid maturing. However, the earlier material is better.
Interpol released four albums in eight years. The band’s sound has become more refined with each album. Interpol emerged before The Killers burst onto the scene. Some of their influences are the same (eg. Joy Division and eighties indie music in general). There are similarities in their styles of music. The problem with Interpol is: It’s all a bit ‘samey’. Listening to one album each time is sufficient. I find I have to be in the mood for it. It’s not very jolly music.
INXS formed in the late seventies – and came to an abrupt end in 1997 when Michael Hutchence was found dead in a hotel in Sydney. The band was most popular between 1984 and 1993. The Greatest Hits was released in 1994. There was just one more album with Michael Hutchence (Elegantly Wasted). A few years ago the band decided to recruit a new lead singer in a televised competition (Rock Star). Once the new vocalist had been chosen, the reformed INXS released an album which was moderately successful. There was far less interest in the last album though.
James formed in the early eighties. The band is still going strong. James did split up for a few years. Tim Booth enjoyed limited success on his own. The band reformed in 2007 and has since released three fairly successful albums (the last two are actually mini-albums). The singles collection was also updated (the first compilation was released in 1998). I haven’t heard the new material but I have read positive reviews.
Jamiroquai is another ‘samey’ band. Combining elements of disco, funk and jazz, Jamiroquai (led by the energetic Jay Kay) has released seven albums and a singles collection. Whilst listening to High Times again, I was reminded just how similar the songs sound. If you’ve heard one Jamiroquai song, you’ve pretty much heard them all (with the notable exception of the blissful Corner Of The Earth). As funky and uplifting as the songs may be, there’s no denying Jamiroquai isn’t exactly the most versatile band on the planet.
Japan was one of the early ‘new romantic’ bands (the first album was released in 1978). The band split in 1982 – after the fifth and most popular album (Tin Drum). There have been almost as many compilation albums. I recommend The Very Best Of Japan. David Sylvian’s solo career has lasted over three decades (and counting). He has produced some fine music. Everything And Nothing is a great overview of it.
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