Illum Sphere Pares Down His Sound On a Record About Detachment

Bandcamp Daily

Illum Sphere. Photo by Vivek Vadoliya. Illum Sphere. Photo by Vivek Vadoliya.

There’s nothing that strikes fear in a musician’s heart quite like the dreaded sophomore slump. For artists who make electronic music, in particular, the desire not to repeat themselves often leads them to abandon the very things that made their debut album unique. Where their first record is laser-focused on a particular sound or signature, the follow-up, lacking that sense of purpose, could easily cast about in multiple directions and end up spreading itself too thin.

Illum Sphere, on the other hand, has used his second album to radically refocus his sound. His debut, Ghosts of Then and Now, offered an ambitious take on contemporary electronic music, straddling techno and bass, dance floors and home listening, and fleshing out silvery synthesizers and chugging drum machines with Rhodes keyboards and soulful vocals. Given its attempts to pull from various lineages, it made for an obvious…

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