Illuminine is a musical project helmed by Flemish composer Kevin Imbrechts. He has released two albums; the first, eponymously titled debut landed in 2015, and the excellent follow-up, #2, in 2017.
Illuminine's music is a seamless blend of neo-classical music with post-rock and ambient influences.
“Every composition is linked to a specific moment in my life, often with major significance. But it’s not important that people know what inspired the music. Everyone can and should project their own ideas and feelings onto the music. Based on the reactions I get, I have the impression that’s successful. Instrumental music is more powerful than vocal music with clear lyrics; it’s much more telling.”
Kevin Imbrechts may be from Belgium, but there is something unmistakably Icelandic in the character of the music he creates as Illuminine, a kind of atmospheric and enigmatic beauty. No wonder Sigur Ròs sound engineer Birgir Jón Birgisson took an early interest in his work and invited Imbrechts to the band’s Sundlaugin studio where he completed the recording of his first album and went on to record the next two. Of course, there are other prominent strands in the DNA of his sound – melancholic neoclassical in the vein of Ólafur Arnalds or A Winged Victory for the Sullen (whose Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie has become a collaborator) and electric guitar which traces back to Imbrechts’ admiration for the more introspective work of avant-garde instrumentalist Buckethead citing ‘Electric Tears’ (Metastation, 2002) as an influence.
All of these elements are manifestly present on the newly released #3 which turns out to be the most personal Illuminine album yet as Imbrechts reveals it concerns a very dark chapter in his life during he was struggling with anxiety and panic attacks as well as being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Harrowing as that may sound, he says that writing the album was “the best therapy possible” and that it turned into a sort of “secret sound diary” which he moulded to reflect the daily cycles from dawn to anxious, sleep-deprived nights and back to hopeful dawn again