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Review: Jon Hopkins Releases Beautiful New Album 'Singularity'

Hopkins finds his perfect milieu between dancefloor music and emotional ambiance on 'Singularity.'
Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins a name that has become revered among electronic music fans. The atmospheric techno he makes skirts the line between club-friendly and blissful in a way few of his contemporaries do. It isn’t trying to pummel its way into your way into your brain -- there is a grace and subtly to his productions that fans admire. So when earlier this year when he announced he was releasing his first artist album in five years titled Singularity, the follow up to 2013's Immunity, you can imagine that there was a palpable level of excitement.

The album starts with the slow and constantly rising, title track “Singularity,” which uses crunchy distortion as the main sound that works as the table-setter for the whole album. He is preparing you for approaching your musical singularity.

He continues with hypnotic, like “Emerald Rush” and “Neon Pattern Drum” that really settle into the ambient soundscapes he explored on his Night Tales compilation that many fans probably rinsed out in the wait for this album.

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He switches gears on the second longest cut from the record, “Everything Connected,” which has a housey, clubbier feel to it, with ominous strings echoing in the background.

The listener will attempt to ascend into heaven or somewhere similar on the next record, “Feel First Life,” a blissful, ambient song with floating choral chants carrying the melody. These lead into another record that fits right into that crossover range between club techno records and the subtle electronica that he gracefully produces. He continues on this thought throughout the rest of the record with sublime piano on “Luminosity Beings” and subtle drums that give it a swaying danceable quality. The final, aptly titled track “Recovery” is a delicate piano ballad that gives fans one final chance to take in the album and recover from Jon Hopkins’ musical singularity.

There is a lot of dance music that seems is designed for a weekend, the club dancefloor and nothing else. It is released on Monday or Friday and then becomes disposable, replaced by another exact sounding record after the weekend. That is fine, not every song is going to be an instant classic; a world-beater. What can be lost is emotion – the capacity to make you feel something, not just make you move. Hopkins achieves that with a beautiful mix of techno, house, electronica and ambient music that deserves to be played form start to finish in one sitting. This is a record you get on vinyl. Pick up a copy here via Domino Records.

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