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Ybrid – Ex Nihilo Nihil

Ybrid - Ex Nihilo Nihil

2CD, Ozore/Xunk, 2005

Ybrid is Sylvie Egret, a veteran of the French hardcore/dark ambient scene and this double CD offering illustrates a much wider vision than most “hardcore” producers could lay claim to.
The album is quite wisely split into two discs, “Ex Nihilo Nihil” (from the latin “nothing comes from nothing”) shows Sylvie’s more experimental side and is a stark opposite from the gabber to be found on “Defixio”. This album veers between haunting classical compositions and ghostly arrangements, with the odd chunk of mechanized mayhem thrown in to contribute to a more menacing atmosphere (and no doubt keep the heads who were expecting it to be harder and faster interested). The best example of this would be on the track “Gwox” which sounds like it is powered by Satan’s own personal V8 engine.
The themes of the predominately instrumental pieces on “Ex Nihilo Nihil” that are explored are nature (“Thrips”, “Virga”), civilizations (“Ngawaxxx”), languages (“Yaena”) and religion (“Commixtio”). When listening to this album I can’t hep but imagine something akin to a time lapse photography video to compliment the music detailing the evolution of our planet since prehistoric times, such is its grandeur.
Now then, if “Ex Nihilo Nihil” lured you into its world with its subtle charms then “Defixio” is ready and waiting round the back to bludgeon you senseless with its all out hardcore assault. Although this disc is much more dancefloor friendly, the themes are still the same and the tracks have many more elements than your standard bass, drum, hand clap, hoover and profanity sample formula of gabber that we all know (and love?). For example the first track (“Sodome & Adama”) is an over ten minute long hardcore/opera epic. The piercing synth stabs throughout the course of the disc make for some uneasy listening at times but nothing that isn’t in keeping with the overall feel of the disc. I’d also like to award a bonus point for this album for being the first to implement the concept of medieval gabber on the track “Logo-Denning-Dal”.
If there is a hardcore club in hell then it will be of no surprise to hear “Defixio” blaring out to welcome new arrivals…


— Michael Hinchliffe

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