Track of the week

Hunned Bandz

Tanukichan

Domino / 2018
7.9

Singularity


Jon Hopkins

By: David Cate

Jon Hopkins could not have picked a better cover for his latest electronic masterpiece of a record. Picture for a moment yourself, an astronaut the night before launch. You’re staring at those stars you are about to shoot towards in an attempt to land on for the first time in human history. You’re going to need a soundtrack for the ride. That soundtrack is Singularity.

The title track and opening song of the album begins with that signature slow burn of a build up we all learned to love on Hopkins last official release, Immunity. Droning synths, with jarring and ominous overtones blending together and lifting themselves towards a steady drop. This is liftoff. The astronauts are boarding, saying goodbye to families. There are tears.

4 and a half minutes into “Singularity”, Hopkins swoops in from the ether with his signature jarring, and unforgiving rhythm. This is the moment he fully reassures his fans: “It’s been awhile, but I haven’t gone anywhere.” The title track ends and eases into Emerald Rush which opens with a continuation of this assurance – a soft, simple piano melody oozes forward into another crushing trademark Hopkins beat.

One of Hopkins most astounding qualities is his ability to seamlessly meld moments of aggressive, pulsating house techno with delicate classical piano melodies. It must feel like being the God of both fire and water or something – I’m not sure, you’d really have to ask him. Hopefully we can someday.

By the time Neon Pattern Drum settles into itself, our astronauts are deep into the stratosphere and confident in their mission. The track pounds them forward into the most epic and longest leg (10 minutes and 30 seconds) of the adventure that is the track Everything Connected. These two tracks are Hopkins highest points on the record. Totaling almost 17 minutes, Neon Patter Drum and Everything Connected comprise a sprawling landscape of everything Hopkins listeners crave, and everything he delivers so well. Hammering, crunching, tactile beats that put the listener into a techno coma.

Feel First Life is the first track on the album where Hopkins gives his crew of space travelers, excuse me I mean listeners, a reprieve from the grinding nature that dominates the first half of the album. You have touched down on a new world. You are in awe of the extra terrestrial plant life that surrounds you. A chorus of elven like voices graces your ears after a long journey.

Coming out of Feel First Life into the following track, C O S M, Hopkins lightly wades back into the whipping waters that define his best sounds but he never really takes a deep dive into them. C O S M is one of Hopkins finest tracks to date – he blends his hypnotic rhythm and elegant melodies perfectly in a new manner here.

At this point in the album, there is a sharp dip in energy. Echo Dissolve showcases Hopkins knack for writing pretty and simple piano verses, but it lacks the mysterious quality that the rest of his classical work does to keep the listener fully engaged. The track weakly sets the stage for Luminous Beings, which feels good on the ears and begins to pull the album back from the dip in energy beginning with at Echo Dissolve, but the track never fully put the shuttle back into launch.

The closing track Recovery is beautiful and pensive. But sadly, it would have been a better send off if the tracks before it had properly set the stage for a return landing for our journeying astronauts. By the time the album finishes one can’t help but be wondering – did they ever make it home?

Singularity


Jon Hopkins

By: David Cate

Domino / 2018
7.9

Jon Hopkins could not have picked a better cover for his latest electronic masterpiece of a record. Picture for a moment yourself, an astronaut the night before launch. You’re staring at those stars you are about to shoot towards in an attempt to land on for the first time in human history. You’re going to need a soundtrack for the ride. That soundtrack is Singularity.

The title track and opening song of the album begins with that signature slow burn of a build up we all learned to love on Hopkins last official release, Immunity. Droning synths, with jarring and ominous overtones blending together and lifting themselves towards a steady drop. This is liftoff. The astronauts are boarding, saying goodbye to families. There are tears.

4 and a half minutes into “Singularity”, Hopkins swoops in from the ether with his signature jarring, and unforgiving rhythm. This is the moment he fully reassures his fans: “It’s been awhile, but I haven’t gone anywhere.” The title track ends and eases into Emerald Rush which opens with a continuation of this assurance – a soft, simple piano melody oozes forward into another crushing trademark Hopkins beat.

One of Hopkins most astounding qualities is his ability to seamlessly meld moments of aggressive, pulsating house techno with delicate classical piano melodies. It must feel like being the God of both fire and water or something – I’m not sure, you’d really have to ask him. Hopefully we can someday.

By the time Neon Pattern Drum settles into itself, our astronauts are deep into the stratosphere and confident in their mission. The track pounds them forward into the most epic and longest leg (10 minutes and 30 seconds) of the adventure that is the track Everything Connected. These two tracks are Hopkins highest points on the record. Totaling almost 17 minutes, Neon Patter Drum and Everything Connected comprise a sprawling landscape of everything Hopkins listeners crave, and everything he delivers so well. Hammering, crunching, tactile beats that put the listener into a techno coma.

Feel First Life is the first track on the album where Hopkins gives his crew of space travelers, excuse me I mean listeners, a reprieve from the grinding nature that dominates the first half of the album. You have touched down on a new world. You are in awe of the extra terrestrial plant life that surrounds you. A chorus of elven like voices graces your ears after a long journey.

Coming out of Feel First Life into the following track, C O S M, Hopkins lightly wades back into the whipping waters that define his best sounds but he never really takes a deep dive into them. C O S M is one of Hopkins finest tracks to date – he blends his hypnotic rhythm and elegant melodies perfectly in a new manner here.

At this point in the album, there is a sharp dip in energy. Echo Dissolve showcases Hopkins knack for writing pretty and simple piano verses, but it lacks the mysterious quality that the rest of his classical work does to keep the listener fully engaged. The track weakly sets the stage for Luminous Beings, which feels good on the ears and begins to pull the album back from the dip in energy beginning with at Echo Dissolve, but the track never fully put the shuttle back into launch.

The closing track Recovery is beautiful and pensive. But sadly, it would have been a better send off if the tracks before it had properly set the stage for a return landing for our journeying astronauts. By the time the album finishes one can’t help but be wondering – did they ever make it home?