Immunity is the 4th solo LP by Jon Hopkins, a man who has really done the rounds in the musical community. Having started as a keyboard player for Imogen Heap, he has worked with industry legends like Brian Eno and David Holmes and even composed an Ivor Novello nominated soundtrack for the film ‘Monsters’. Throughout this album, released on Domino Records, he shows how this vast swathe of musical experience has influenced him and allowed him to become a master of atmosphere and musical tension.
The first track, ‘We Disappear’, is a build-up of industrial clinks, stomping techno percussion and emotive synth/piano lines. This sets the mood brilliantly for the album, particularly when the outro hits with its distorted bass and melancholic strings; a juxtaposition between ambience and aggression that is present throughout.
Where ‘We Disappear’ sets the scene for the album, ‘Open Eye Signal’ starts that journey. A rumbling slice of techno taking you to another planet, populated by angels supplying an immersive choral backdrop. Around the 6 minute mark, the ambience drops to reveal a stomping beat that hits hard. Next up is ‘Breathe This Air’, a twitchy affair with a shuffling beat and a morphing bass line, interspersed with the chilling character that Mr Hopkins has become so adept at.
‘Collider’ is the stand out track here, a nine minute serving of thumping bass and trippy synths which is entrancing from start to finish. The seductive female vocal and the pounding kick combines to draw you into a vortex of sound comprised of equal parts bliss and trepidation.
‘Abandon Window’ is a tranquil sea after the storm of ‘Collider’ as its calming sounds wash over you, showing how much he has learnt from Brian Eno, one of the masters of soundscapes. ‘Form By Firelight’ starts with an interesting arrangement of percussion that becomes ever more elaborate and remains the driving force behind the song.
From the first luminous chord, ‘Sun Harmonics’ lives up to its name as it pulsates along, bathed in calming rays and powerful bass. The album finishes on the title track, ‘Immunity’, which showcases all of the sides of his production in one powerful statement, with emotive chords draped over the clunking and muffled percussion. Jon lets this one play out, taking his time to bring it to a tranquil close.
Immunity is a fantastic album which shows just how much Jon Hopkins has mastered his craft. The cosmic techno feel of the album is soothing whilst energising, ideal listening pre or post club.
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