How Hybris accidentally inspired an actual chocolate bar

Drum & bass food news just keeps on coming….

Following Survival smashing Masterchef to hit the final three and John B launching his own hot sauce, Hybris and Melbourne-based art collective Plasma have announced a concept chocolate bar that’s inspired by the two tracks on his forthcoming release: Krak-A-Lackin / Munchies. It started with the artwork design process…

“It was initially based on title of the tracks, my partner Akane is a designer, I said – we could go with something along the lines of ‘whats cracking dude, you got the munchies?” explains the Plasma founder Safire who we spoke to a few years ago. “That inspired her to do her thing and came up with the chocolate bar idea. We’ve talked about making infused chocolate in the past so there was kind of a precursor already brewing there. She is quite selective with the projects she works on although if she likes the concept and feels inspiration from the idea she’s interested.

“Our focus was to keep elements in the design our own, all things are real – the chocolate, leaf, hand drawn font and obviously Hybris’s face. Once the design was complete, it was adapted to fit a generic block size, we wrapped a chocolate block and did some product photography. It feels like there is so much digital work around, not much is made by hand or has a natural element to it…. We want to bring the human side back into art and music”

There’s a chance they could bring back the tasty side, too. Easily the most deliciously bizarre concept we’ve seen in underground drum & bass since Konflict sampled the devil frying bacon in Messiah*, what began as an artistic concept could eventually become a reality. Plasma has no plan on actually venturing into the food manufacturing world with this release but the interest (and assumption that there is actually a chocolate bar available) has been so high that Plasma may well actually create one.

“Hehe, we’ve got this feedback quite a bit, so yes we probably will,” reveals Safire, real name Ben. “We’d like to do it as an original product though and make the chocolate as well. Good friends of ours own Timeless Chocolate in Okinawa, Japan. Their chocolate is amazing, Akane lived there for a few years – keeping things within our circle is important to us. We’d like to have input into the recipe of this chocolate though – Cacao percent, sugar cane content etc.”

Coming from Plasma, we wouldn’t expect any lower level of detail and creative ownership. We’ll let you know when they actually dip their toe in the IRL chocolate game. In the meantime we asked Prague-based American Hybris what he made of this unique release. No stranger to the more artistic, experimental side of drum & bass – he’s sampled airport toilet doors, for example – if any producer sits comfortably in a concept like this, it’s him.

Here’s Munchies (Krack-A-Lackin isn’t online yet but look out of it when it is – it’s an absolute halftime bruiser)

So you had no idea that a chocolate bar would be made off the back of these tunes. But if did know it was… Would it change the way you wrote the music or the elements you put into it?

You’re right, I had absolutely no idea that a chocolate bar would be made for this release, as typically that’s not what happens in drum & bass. Or really it never happens for any music, so I was totally pumped when Ben and Akane hit me with the concept.

I guess with the tune Munchies, I kind of had a big slobbery monster just shoving garbage into his face in mind, so the chocolate bar was quite a bit more high brow. Had I known a slick chocolate bar would be made, I would have probably focused on making the elements a bit smoother, denser, darker, instead of kind of raunchy and drooly and obnoxious like a stoned fat dude wolfing down a pack of generic brand cheese puffs.

What sonic elements did you bake in the mix of Krack-A-Lackin and Munchies? I know you’re very fond of (and rather good at) shapeshifting the sh!t out of your own found sounds….

You know neither of these tunes have any particularly interesting found sounds in them, which is kind of a departure from my usual workflow. Munchies was just a fun experiment in using a cowbell as a snare, but then I eventually made it more snare-like. I also used a new reverb plugin as more of a creative effect to make a lot of the bass articulation. Krack-A-Lackin was just me having fun with getting crackly textures out of a soft synth, the working title just kind of stuck.

What do some of your other tunes taste like?

On my last EP I’d say Bottle Collector is like a big nasty pub burger after a few too many pints, Rubber Ducky is a curry with just slightly more burn than you had expected, and my tune Gut Rumble is more like the feeling you get after eating either of those things than a flavour in and of itself.

What ingredients would you like to see in the real life version of this chocolate bar?

All I can say is I’m a huge fan of high percentage dark chocolate, so I would love one with 70% or higher cocoa content, but would obviously be super excited to shove any variation of the bar into my face.


Hybris – Kack-A-Lackin / Munchies out Friday June 9 on Plasma Audio

Follow Hybris: Facebook / Soundcloud / Twitter


* As far as we know Konflict did not sample the Devil frying bacon