Hopes were high since JON HOPKINS announced the follow-up to one of the best electronica albums in 2009, his grandiose LP Insides, and all the more since the release of the first single Open Eye Signal some weeks ago. And to come right to the point… His new album, this classical/club hybrid entitled Immunity exceeds all expectations. Like a sonic virus it will enter many bodies this summer, sealing them against the outside and winging their inside with its capturing mixture of impelling beats and neo-romantic atmospheres, with its vibrant sound design and melodious textures and not least with its blend of introspective overtones and pop appeal.
What already impressed on Insides, JON HOPKINS‘ characteristic compound of reverbed piano and string driven ambient and futuristic bass-heavy impetus, attains full maturity four years later on Immunity. In the meantime he not only collaborated with BRIAN ENO, COLDPLAY and KING CREOSOTE, did around a dozen remixes for instance for NOSAJ THING, DAVID LYNCH and FOUR TET and toured with the latter, THE XX and RÖYKSOPP, he also composed critical acclaimed soundtracks for film and dance theatre. And it is these different experiences and fields of activity which evidently enabled the London-based musician and producer to create such epic and emotive electro tracks.
Already the mighty opener We Disappear defines the direction, thematically and musically, synchronising the listener’s perception kinaesthetically with a hefty, crunchy 2-step banger that mentally drifts bit by bit into an absorbing faraway siren call’s inner-outer vastness. And it’s impressive how HOPKINS here strings together four massive club tracks of this type, each precisely balanced between a bass driven post-melancholic elevation on one side and a broken, post-hedonistic mode of high leveled body sensations on the other. A trip that will revive and widen not merely all those gyrating minds and hearts and limbs that got lost with the last of MODERAT.
And one that only can be topped by getting stopped by pain. By this profound sense of misery in Abandon Window. A piano piece by the by that JON HOPKINS originally wrote in 2011 for the wonderful For Nihon compilation which donated the full amount from the sale to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund and features some of the foremost producers of experimental ambient music such as RYUICHI SAKAMOTO, ALVA NOTO, MAX RICHTER and NILS FRAHM.
The remaining 30 minutes constitute the third part of this album, three tracks in which HOPKINS explores more soothing atmospheres in downtempo and house infected climes and a nearby SIGUR RÓS-like denouement, concluding an album that will end up on the best-of-lists not only from fans of BURIAL, MODERAT/APPARAT and FOUR TET.
You can stream the whole of JON HOPKINS’ “Immunity” right here.