Ryan Hunn, AKA Illum Sphere, is founder of Manchester’s renowned club night Hoya:Hoya, has remixed Radiohead, toured the world’s best club nights and released music on some of its finest imprints – 3024, Tectonic, Young Turks, and now Ninja Tune, where he’s found a long term home. “Ghosts Of Then And Now” arrives on the back of eager expectation. If anyone seemed set to make one of the stand out albums of the era, it was Illum Sphere. The good news is that he’s delivered in spades. “Ghosts Of Then And Now” has been deliberately and uncompromisingly conceived as a full length record; an album in the traditional sense, full of music that couldn’t be more modern, whilst nodding to Hunn’s various influences. It’s further proof that electronic music is taking giant leaps forward; a record so rich in ideas, themes, textures and writing that it will draw the listener in time and time again.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
The city of Manchester, a number of Manchester people, weird films.
How and when did you get into making music?
I started writing and recording when I was 11 after learning to play guitar, bass and drums… I then taught myself piano, but didn’t start properly getting into production til about 2007/8.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
I hate these questions, cos it’s so hard to pick a definitive ‘top’ list, but five of my favourites in no order are:
Jimi Hendrix- Electric Ladyland
Lloyd Miller- A Lifetime in Oriental Jazz
The Lightmen Plus One- Energy Control Center
Augustus Pablo- King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
What do you associate with Berlin?
Bleak winters, amazing music, ex pats.
What’s your favourite place in your town?
The Beatin’ Rhythm store on Tib Street.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I grew up playing football literally every spare second I had, but got heavily into art and photography later… So one of those three.
What was the last record you bought?
Crystal Grass- Crystal World LP
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Bat For Lashes… and DOOM.
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
My first live set (instead of DJing) at Hoya:Hoya in May will always stay with me.
How important is technology to your creative process?
Very. However I think having too much at your disposal can be a hindrance. Limiting your options forces you to really get the most out of your shit.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I’m the eldest of five. My younger brother is 13, and is already fucking with Logic and Ableton. I hope he’s proud of me, cos I’m proud of him. By the time he’s 18 he’ll be terrifyingly good.