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Illum Sphere

As part of the Red Bull Music Academy this year, Manchester's finest 'Mutant Funk' producer hit the stage at Barcelona's Sonar with a set to remember

Besides co-running the Hoya Hoya label and clubnight in his own time, London-born and now Manchester-based Illum Sphere aka Ryan Hunn made his name on the likes of Fat City and Martyn's highly regarded label 3024 with his remixes for him as well as Berghain favourite Ben Klock, and Om Unit. Without attempting to pigeon-hole it, the root of his experimental electronic sound is almost a mutant outcome of traditional bass elements and influences from techno and perhaps, funk. After storming the Red Bull Music Academy stage last weekend at Barcelona's Sonar Festival as part of their 2011 programme alongside the likes of Tiger & Woods, Katy B and Zinc, Illum Sphere spoke to us about his secret skills, his hometown, and what's to come...


...Your secret talent?
I can make a mean jerk chicken.

...Your favourite sound?
 My baby sister's voice.

...Your worst vice?

...The best thing about where you're from?
 Manchester? The talent around... artists, musicians, photographers, designers...

...At the top of your wishlist?
For my album to come out as good as I'd hope!

...Your worst fashion secret?
Most of my clothes I haven't paid for...

...Your dream collaborator?
Thom Yorke, MF Doom... Do they have to be alive? King Tubby...

...Do you feel you fit amongst the RBMA artists on the stage this year?
I think they all fit and don't fit as much as each other. It's a really eclectic mix of artists, so it's impossible to not fit in really.

...How did you feel working with them?
The Academy is so well known, it's rare to work with such an admired institution so it's been great. 

...Will you be working with them in future?
Hopefully it'll be ongoing as I was part of their Academy this year...

This your first Sonar? Highlights?
Playing Idioteque by Radiohead - and the response.

What are you most excited about now?
A boring answer, but the rest of Sonar!

Check out the rest of the Red Bull Music Academy shows at Sonar here.

Photo by Eleanor Marechal