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Matthew P. Hopkins abstract, immersive-yet-unnerving worldscapes. Utilising the human voice in twisted but still recognisable forms as well as field recordings, feedback and minimal synthesis. Blue­Lit Half Breath is a record for twilight, bringing to life the creatures you’ve imagined in empty spaces, but can’t do anything about.


LP £9.29 PP22

180g vinyl LP on Penultimate Press.

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Blue­Lit Half Breath by Matthew P. Hopkins
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7/10 Jamie Staff review, 18 April 2016

Matthew P. Hopkins is, according to discogs, a sound maker from Sydney, Australia. Hopkins utilizes tape machines to produce abstracted, slowed, stretched and skewed voice, feedback, field recordings and found sounds, along with ambient and drone to produce his often disturbing compositions. It is a listen which is never short of compelling, with moments of genuine beauty to be found amongst the soundscape of horrific nightmares. Hopkins is known as a master of multiple musical forms, including freeform concrete and improvised electronics and it's these skills he brings to this record. 'Blue Hills' provides a moment of quiet contemplation courtesy of a simple melody picked out at his piano. Immediately thereafter, however, the horror sounds destroy this brief illusion of tranquility.

The atmospheric creep continues on side B of the record, with 'Showers of Chance' reeling us in with its interplay of abrasiveness against softer textures; but beware as there is never a harsh metallic scrape or rabid animal sound too far away. The track grinds to a halt with what sounds like the final breath and croak of a mighty-jawed reptilian creature... Oh! This is nice. 'Passage Portent' is the balm to what has preceded. The creep is strong, though. Ear-piercing screams almost make me jump out of my reviewer's chair; if I weren't constantly on edge today this record would've made me a gibbering wreck by now. Oh Matthew! What are you doing to me? Someone or something haunts the piano all of a sudden. How to make such a wonderful instrument sound so harsh, so scary, so thrilling.

Move over, Nils. As the album title hinted, I find myself blue lit -- and out of breath.



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