Jon Hopkins - 'Singularity' Album Review
British composer and electronic music wizard, Jon Hopkins, is known by now for his spacey and eerie soundscapes on previous projects Diamond Mine and Immunity. As a result the sounds he crafts on his new album, Singularity, are nothing revolutionary or fresh, however there is something grand and enchanting about this album that makes it a worthy addition to his catalogue.
This is not an album to be put on in the background, it demands for your attention and to listen through it all in one sitting, hence the seamlessly flowing track list. The album cover perfectly sets the scene for this musical trip as every sound Hopkins produces here is spacey and alien. Hopkins opens this album with very techno and EDM influenced tracks with driving synth notes and thumping bass, something that fans are more than used to by now. I was initially disappointed as I was hoping Hopkins would move away from the EDM and House influences and go back to his roots in ambient music, like his legendary collaboration with Brian Eno. However, towards the second half of the album this ambient and patient side to him comes out in the most beautiful ways.
The tracks ‘First Feel Life’ and ‘Recovery’ are fantastic examples of the mellow and quiet side of Jon Hopkins that I loved on his last album Immunity. This is not to discredit the more heavy and rhythmic tracks on the album, tracks like ‘Neon Pattern Drum’ serve to flip the conventional structure of house music on its head, creating a disorientating but hypnotic banger that wouldn’t feel out of place at a club. However sometimes the constant thumping and glitching can get a little tiresome, especially on the track ‘Everything Connected’, a 10-minute celebration of modern techno and electronic music that spends 5 minutes of its time replaying the same beat.
One of my main concerns after Hopkins’ fantastic previous project Immunity is where he would go after it and the answer to this is apparently, ‘not very far’. It’s clear that Hopkins has found his sound and Singularity showcases him testing the boundaries of it. This isn’t such a bad thing however, as there is something about Hopkins’ music that is so unlike anything else, his skill for conveying emotion and creating images without any lyricism is impressive. While I prefer his softer and cleaner tracks to his distorted and glitchy bangers, I can admire the technicality and the work he puts into them, as Singularity showcases a man whose talent for precise and calculated electronica music is unmatched, even if it treads some of the same ground as his previous work.
Check out the album in full here: