Jon Hopkins Singularity Domino Records
Jon Hopkins’ aesthetic has been perfected over a series of albums that span the last two decades. It has evolved from the ambient sounds of 2001’s Opalescent, through the trip-hop influenced rhythms of Contact Note, and into the rumbling bass explosions and gemstone melodies that characterise 2013’s Immunity and his new solo album, Singularity.
This trajectory has gradually moved away from material that – in hindsight – sailed a little too close to the anonymous early-noughties chillout filler, and towards an otherworldly place that is crunching and cataclysmic on the one hand, deft and delicate on the other. Singularity continues this journey with galactic grandeur. The stuttering Emerald Rush is a beauty – a lolloping rhythm coupled with a melody miasma that oozes out of the speakers. The following track, Neon Pattern Drum, teases in but evolves into a shadowy techno rattler, before Everything Connected pushes the trance-rush button and the floor falls away for the raucous-but-celestial centrepiece of the album. The soft, meandering keys of Echo Dissolve, and the choral contentedness of Feel First Life provide a gentle counterpoint, before the barely audible Recovery returns the album to the note it began on. Singularity is the satisfying sound of an artist who – instead of petering out after a couple of early victories – is still perfecting his craft nearly two decades after he started.