Jon Hopkins- Immunity 2013 (Domino Records)
This album came out a few months ago. Hearing a lot about this artist locally and overseas, I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about.
Essentially there are two rationales as to why the 34 year old Londoner can be differentiated from the rest. His music is attention-grabbing in that he creates an aesthetically pleasing soundscape on his tracks, while incorporating a melodic element which renders it somewhat accessible. This does not mean that there is a “drop” or a famous chord progression; it is just simply pretty and listenable.
Many musicians dabble between the two and often cannot find a happy medium between experimentation and appealing to the listener. I think Jon Hopkins encapsulates the two quite nicely. His collaborative work with famous artists such as Brian Eno, Imogen Heap and Coldplay supports this notion. His work on production teams as well as a chief contributor to countless albums has given him the experience and capacity to experiment with electronic/dance and maintain notoriety. This is particularly prevalent in the 7 minute track “Open Eye Signal.”
The concept with this album is pretty clear, you don’t have to search far to see what he is trying to achieve. Often, with similar artists, I find there I have to do extra research to figure out what they are doing. Paradoxically he makes you wonder. The album is something that causes you to examine Hopkins’ actions. How did he make those sounds? How did he find those samples? I think this is eerily similar to Actress with a little bit more love and feeling within the music. The opener is indicative of this; full of samples and experimental sounds- it has this subtle romantic vibe to it.
The classically trained Londoner has a lot of be proud of.