In the silence of the night, Kevin Imbrechts awoke as Illuminine. In his bedroom, accompanied by a guitar and a handful of style effects pedals. For years, the Leuven native had secretly been tinkering with soundscapes and more elaborate guitar tracks, before "#1#, his debut album, was ready to face daylight for the first time.
‘#1’ consists of fourteen clean, minimalist songs which follow the road to your heart without a detour. Illuminine is organising traffic on the crossroads between neoclassical and post-rock.
“In the beginning, I did not feel the need to share these songs with the world”, says Kevin Imbrechts. “I was aiming for a specific sound without any outside influences.”
There were no plans to release an album until Chantal Acda (Isbells, True Bypass, Chantal Acda) connected Kevin with producer Christophe Vandewoude (Isbells, Pilod).
In the studio at Muziekcentrum Het Depot, with Vandewoude by his side, the outlines of Illuminine began to take shape. “I had a guitar album in mind when we started, but it became more symphonic and warm along the way when we added a piano, strings and wind instruments.”, the twenty-something tells us. “Christophe has taught me to push myself, to always aim just that little bit higher or to try something different. I used to be happy after two takes, this time I pushed myself to the limit.”
“I honestly did not know I had it in me. I’ve always been rather insecure.” he whispers later. Nevertheless, Imbrechts did find the courage to send his music to Sigur Rós. “A day later, Birgir Jón Birgisson, the band’s sound engineer, suggested completing the album at Sigur Rós’ Sundlaugin Studio in Reykjavík.”
In April 2017 Illuminine’s second album, ‘#2’, was released via Imbrechts’ Sony imprint Illuminine Records. Again the album was self-recorded in Leuven and then finished at Sundlaugin Studios in Iceland. The album expands the universe Imbrechts created on his debut, with an even more dynamic and partly apocalyptical feel. For ‘#2’ Imbrechts also collaborated with two guest vocalists, Will Samson and Jan Swerts, whose voices fit perfectly into the atmosphere of the album.
Both albums could be related to Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds or A Winged Victory For The Sullen. But Imbrechts was not necessarily influenced by them. “Through the years, I’ve mainly been influenced by Buckhethead. ’Electric Tears’ was my very first experience with slow, instrumental guitar music.”
Illuminine breathes Iceland - the songs sound warm and cold at the same time, it’s the kind of music that does not need many words to say a lot.
Serene and inspired simplicity, carefully spiced with melancholy.