20 Apr 2021

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Hybrid Rose - Album Review: Warhol

22 Jul 2018 // A review by butch181

Rose Valentina Muollo-Gray AKA Hybrid Rose has put together a full album release, just over a year after the release of her cosmic album, COSMIC. The self-produced electronic artist falls mostly into the vaporwave genre, adopting influences from smooth jazz and lounge music, and the retro arcade style of chiptune. This latest album, Warhol, slated for release towards the end of August is a whirlwind trip of nostalgic, and otherwise retro, energy-infused dance tracks.

The album begins with Holographic Dreams, a positive and upbeat track, that sounds like an amalgamation of every “level completed” and “coin collected” tone from the memory banks. A reminder of the days before being able to play mp3’s on your phone, before even the days of polyphonic ringtones. A pacey number, with layers of different electronic tones. Hybrid Rose tracks are largely instrumental, with additional layers taking the place of vocal melodies. A well-balanced trick, that also provides more flexibility in sound, as you can harmonise electronic melodies much easier.

Moving into the more dramatic cinematic realms, the title track Warhol, has a much more mature sound. More reserved, with almost a hint of inner darkness embedded into it, it has a strong emotive feel that is reminiscent of Massive Attack’s Teardrop. With a shift away from a completely computer-generated sound, keys and piano are present and add volume and depth to the soundscape.

If you needed a soundtrack for an 80’s movie that requires some computer hacking done, look no further than Why Don’t You Love Me?. With a good pace and a heavy dose of pulsating synths, it embodies that whole era of 80’s ideological future tech; the neon colours, the collars, the glasses, the hoverboards and lasers. A nostalgic trip with that modern control of structure that makes it so smooth and agreeable to listen to.

The album contains a number of features, the most notable of which, and potentially the stand-out on the album outside of Warhol is Just Press Play, which features electropop artist Fanfickk. Unlike many features that just involve the artist singing along to some already determined lyrics in the chorus, Fanfickk’s influence is palpable. Her presence in the writing, arranging, and recording is apparent in the tracks distinctiveness compared to anything else on the album. With strong contrasts between the energy of the verses and choruses, moving from a slow melodic piece to the deluge of sound that constitutes the short but intense choral section, with only a couple of dissonant notes to act as a forewarning. An eclectic barrage of layered harmonies and frequencies over the top of the consistent vocals.

There is a solid block of high-energy poppy dance tracks locked in the centre of the album, with UFO, and Symphony, providing no vocal distraction. Just that categorical vaporwave sound that Hybrid Rose is known for.

The album ends with New York featuring Jahleel. Jahleel, who has collaborated with Hybrid Rose on her previous concept album on the track System Corrupt. Jahleel generally swings towards a more avant-garde style but provides a deep breadth with the vocal melody, and the interchange between Jahleel and Hybrid Rose’s melodies transitions well. The number of featured artists seem to signal an upcoming change in style, away from the poppy chiptune, evolving towards the more vocal-driven, cinematic, soulful, full-bodied sound.

A wide-ranging album, from light-hearted chiptune, to the more soulful, deep, and dramatic. There is such a variety of content, it will be interesting to see which direction Hybrid Rose will go in the future.

Review written by Alex Moulton


About Hybrid Rose

Citing a range of musical influences from Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) to Lady Gaga and Marina Diamandis, to Coldplay, Blenheim resident Rose Gray (aka Hybrid Rose) self-produces tunes that vary from chiptune ditty Video Games to the poppy, dance-y Pixel and distorted dubstep of Expectations.

Her influences go beyond music, however; the opening chords to Pixels came to her while watching an episode of Adventure Time for example. She also cites vintage design and graphics as an influence, especially in terms of the visuals she produces alongside her songs. While Gray doesn’t consider herself a political person, she says she’s very passionate about making change.

Her musical character is a little more involved however, and the music is occasionally politically inspired. Hybrid Rose, an electronic character. An infectious virus in your ears, an addiction you cannot quit.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hybrid Rose


Awkwardly Eccentric
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Year: 2017
Type: Album

Other Reviews By butch181

Lola Sola - Single Review: Tripping
04 Dec 2019 // by butch181
This latest single from Lola Sola, Tripping, is pure simplicity; simple enough to allow nothing to draw your attention away from the vocals. With very little instrumentation beyond a guitar (which doubles as the tracks percussive element), there is nothing complicated about it, and it creates a slow and weary ambience.
Rubine - Album Review: Secret Danger
04 Nov 2019 // by butch181
Rubine hail from North Island’s Hamilton and Tauranga, which is ideal placement, as some New Zealand’s best classic rock sounds tend to originate from the Waikato/Bay of Plenty regions. The five-piece consist of Tana Tapri on lead vocals, Afzer Zameer on the drums, Dennis Ben on guitar, and Keith McGlade and Stefan Doll on the bass and guitar respectively, as well backing vocals.
Gig Review: Sevendust w/ City of Souls @ Powerstation, Auckland - 23/04/2019
24 Apr 2019 // by butch181
A decidedly reserved Tuesday night in Auckland and people were quietly piling into the Powerstation and grabbing some drinks at the bar. The upper balcony area was closed, so the fans were amassing downstairs around the inner perimeter of the venue.
Sonic Altar - Album Review: Under A Dying Sun
27 Mar 2019 // by butch181
In this digital age, it’s not often that you get a full length record anymore. Everything is short and sweet just to get content out there before fans forget your band even exists.
Levi Lights On Project - Single Review: Mirror Man
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
Levi is a musical amalgamation that would in most cases be categorised as folk, thanks to the groups' uncommon mix of instruments consisting of a saxophone, cello, and cajón, and a lack of a drum kit or electric instruments. That being said, Mirror Man has something unique.
The Gemini Effect - Single Review: Little Mouse
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
Little Mouse is the first single from Bad Alien, the upcoming sophomore album of three-piece alt-rock act The Gemini Effect. With some nice consistent snare work, the track jumps right off the bat with a great organic sense of rhythm that has you bobbing your head and tapping your foot along with the beat, accentuated by some gritty power chords.
Mermaidens - Single Review: You Maintain The Stain
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
The latest release from Wellington trio Mermaidens is a straight up middle finger to the powers that control the world and throws away the mainstream formula of verse/chorus patterns, instead, forming a self-righteous maelstrom of sonic environments.  With no warning given, You Maintain The Stain gets straight into cold, apathetic vocals alongside a pluggy bassline, until the guitar jumps in with an uncomfortable level of discord that sows the seeds of uneasiness in the pit of your stomach as if every instrument is performing a different song.
Paper Cranes - Album Review: Voices
19 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Due for release January 18, 2019, Voices is the second full-length album from Indie Folk duo Paper Cranes. While comprised of ten tracks, the album has a short overall runtime of just over 35 minutes.
View All Articles By butch181

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar And Giveon
    Polo G
    Lil Nas X
    Silk Sonic
    Doja Cat feat. SZA
    Glass Animals
    Masked Wolf
    Olivia Rodrigo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem