Published Feb 07, 2014Although it's only been eight years since Burial released his first LP, his brand of haunted R&B-tinged atmosphere has infiltrated the underground, influencing newcomers like Holy Other and oOoOO as well as recent material from Caribou and Four Tet. With Ghosts of Then and Now, Ryan Hunn (a.k.a. Illum Sphere) draws from this same murky pool of dense sonic influences. Co-owner of Manchester's influential Hoya:Hoya club, Hunn's influences arrive first-hand, as his debut's 13 tracks seemingly mimic the range of moods perpetrated by his club's guest DJs.
Recorded as a full piece, as opposed to individual tracks, Ghosts of Then and Now shifts from the gloomy cinematic sounds of opener "Liquesce" through the colliding blips and cascading aural melodies of "The Road" (one of three tracks featuring vocals from Shadowbox) to the organic marimba notes that define album closer "Embryonic." With Ghosts of Then and Now, Illum Sphere strives to balance the ethereal with the earworm and, for the most part, succeeds. (Ninja Tune)