Labels come and go, so do the artists. With this thought in mind, the most valuable characteristic of art is consistency. Nearly four years after Sphere Vol. 1, and the 20 releases that followed, IO continues to build consistent evidence behind the strengths this label is growing into, visually, sonically and artistically as a whole.
“The Sphere Vol. 2” groups together the talents of the audio-visual, environmentally conscious collective behind the label, based in Munich. For an album shared between seven artists, it’s immensely varied in the individual tracks’ stylistic qualities. From abstract ambient soundscapes introducing and closing the album to the driving, dance floor-worthy rhythmic productions, the VA comes with exciting twists in each collaboration.
Artistic from all angles, the VA starts with “Invocation” by Dycide and MTRL, who have efficiently built emotional soft organics like acid bends and heart-beat-like basslines, and ends with “Moor” by Mordio and Polygonia, closing the journey with deep dark drone-ish flavours. The two tracks display the broad reach the artists are capable of. Well-curated, the productions in between continue the emotional path, with tracks such as the playful sounding, light-hearted “Mirror Pools” in which Delusional Circuits and Polygonia present a danceable groove with quirky surreal sounds. Such sounds remind psy-energies and find their way throughout the collaborations, being one of the elements which nicely tie the album together. With hypnotic effects pulsing in gradually, through the likes of “Carv” by Epsilon and Kaf, there really is something for all stylistic preferences.
It’s hard not to imagine the colourful dynamics behind the collaborations which led to this release, with such an engaging way of bringing artists together, to challenge their creativity and reach such ear-pleasing innovation. Like always with the conceptualised label, the album comes with a mixed version in Soundcloud, which strengthens further the links between the talented companions and prolongs the pleasure, for anyone ready to take off.