New release: Illum Sphere – “Ghosts Of Then And Now”

First of all Bleep’s website makes it ridiculously difficult to listen to anything at all. You can listen to each track in pieces because after the 30 second sample is up you have to slide the player over to the next 30 seconds etc. etc. I mean, I can understand why they do it, but I would be happier being able to hear one entire song than having to mess with the player to hear detached pieces of a track.

Thankfully Ninja Tune, the label that released “Ghosts of Then and Now,” was kind enough to upload some of the tracks to Youtube.

Anyway, the reason that I head over to Bleep regularly is, well they send me their newsletter, and I’ve been listening to a lot of Autechre lately and it has given way to a new fascination with electronic music and it’s where you can get Autechre’s albums. So, I’ve been looking for similar artists to broaden my horizons.

Listening to Illum Sphere (as much as I can anyway), with the ultra thick bass and synth that buzzes through most of the tracks, it reminded me in some ways to Baths’ “Cerulean” album from a few years back.  But there’s also hints at proto-IDM like Kraftwere, which I hear heaps of in “Sleeprunner.” The kraut-rock, motorik sound has an undeniable influence throughout the track with its heavily cyclical and repetitive synth line, though it  takes a gradual turn toward the end.

The album has been out for a few weeks now, and it’s a really interesting listen, worth checking out. From the motorik synths of “Sleeprunner” to the Wurlitzer sound of the titular track, there is a lot to grab onto. I wouldn’t quite say that it’s similar to Boards of Canada, but it’s definitely closer to their output than it is to anything Autechre has done. Check out “Sleeprunner” (above) and “Ghosts of Then and Now.” (below) The album can be ordered from Bleep on CD, 2xLP, or various downloads, as well as on iTunes. And if you head to Bleep, you too can have fun trying to use the audio player. Hours of enjoyment. Test your skill.

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