Singularity is the first Jon Hopkins record since his breakthrough opus Immunity and he has made it in such a way that you are meant to listen to it in one sitting. As a lot of music listeners have the attention span of a gnat this could prove a tricky request but sit yourself down, turn the internet off and enjoy it as Hopkins produces a suite of techno to ambience to choral music and everything in between.
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Jon Hopkins’ last album started with a recording of him closing the door of his East London studio. His latest, ‘Singularity’, opens with a single beam of light. It slowly grows in intensity, it distorts, and finally a rhythm. ‘Immunity’ was grounded, for all the euphoria on the record there was something muted about its palettes. ‘Singularity’ aims at the cosmic.
His stellar aspirations haven’t changed what has always been true of Hopkins work. This is intense, uplifting, electronic music for people who don’t go clubbing. The structure of his music, the textures, the chord progressions, all remain bearable by the rockist. This is how a nominally underground electronic producer gets sampled on a Coldplay song, how they win the Evening Standard’s album of the year award.
And yeah, he’s still good at this. The tracks are still big, juddering, behemoths that gets my heart beat raring. ‘Emerald Rush’s juddering rhythm feels like being in a car that’s stalling over and over again, in a good way. ‘Luminous Beings’ 12 minute run time is entirely earned. It’s a marathon to the stars, that gets exponentially faster as it continues. And he’s still good at contrasting these big moments with smaller one - the album ends with ‘Recovery’, a music box lullaby. Though this time, they’re rendered in stark technicolour - bright as anything.
Despite looking to the stars, nothing’s really changed. And why should it? In an ideal world we should all be able to see the stars from outside our front doors.
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