Having played with and composed for the likes of Brian Eno, Coldplay, and Imogen Heap among others, Jon Hopkins has an amazing track record. On his own though, Hopkins creates melodic and ambient dance records that are indebted to techno and house – a result of his classical training as a musician. Still, the name Jon Hopkins is relatively obscure among the general dance fanbase, but had he had the same hype machine as Daft Punk, his fourth album Immunity could – and should – change that.
It’s a culmination of his past résumé; the man has mastered the art of an album arc that doesn’t just have a broad sonic palette, but human warmth and emotions too. Just listen to the flawless transitioning of the revelatory deep house track ‘Open Eye Signal’ to the ambience of ‘Breathe the Air’, there’s a clear journey in just two songs. There’s a spacious quality to his composition that works to his auteristic advantage, he’s premeditated our emotional spectrum just by knowing how to pace the record and where to restrain the BPM.
The adrenaline from the hard hitting technoir ‘Collider’ cools down as fast as your dopamine level increases with the serene ‘Abandon Window’, which had Eno-styled piano keys over lush synths. The album doesn’t need to ape anything that came before it, instead Hopkins fully embraced electronics and succeeded at injecting emotional vérité into dance without gimmicky novelties.
LISTEN TO: ‘Open Eye Signal’
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