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Audio Addict Records head honcho and “We Love Jungle’s” ‘Best Breakthrough Producer and DJ’, DJ Hybrid’s debut album Mixed Origins is a breakneck journey through jungle’s myriad of styles from its ragga beginnings, hip hop leaning old school jump-up, Peshay style jazz cut ups, Photek-esq drum funk, sweaty IDM style, effected rhythmic workouts, all the way through to ‘Pulse X’ style grime stabs, sino-grime melodics as well as the half step, genre bending styles that have peppered 2015’s release schedules.
And, unlike so many uptempo albums, Hybrid’s debut is not just a collection of tracks, rather a journey into what is possible within a jungle framework. The tracks all share a similar aesthetic yet manage, at the same time, to sound completely different from each other. This isn’t an album with fourteen variants on one theme, it is fourteen well thought out differing ideas excellently executed by a producer that is obviously brimming with confidence and swag.
Opening number Midgar set the tone with ‘Valley of the Shadows’ type arpeggios floating lovingly over emotive pads and crusty rolling breaks, whilst following number Dem Try – the most modern, experimental tune on the album – unites dutty grime bass stabs with ballroom type vocals and a skank ready drum programming. Its Murder bangs like it 1995, whilst Bloom in 93 samples a pirate radio broadcast before launching into an experimental pseudo jungle banger that glitches out and dives into the unknown using a selection of well carved old school breaks to get its point across. You First utilises a classic reese bass and a retro as you like 2-step beat that is both transportation and transcendent at the same time, whilst Katie’s Song shows off the producers melodic, chilled out chops before the ‘Platinum Breaks’ style ending tunes of Run Away and Timeless end the party with an introspective eyes down bang.
All things said, the album serves as a reminder of why jungle was and still is such an important driving force in UK music today, its influence still apparent even 25 years after its heyday a factor that Hybrid has captured exceptionally well.