Although Jon Hopkins is yet to be merited as a household name, chances are you will have encountered the Londoner’s work in one shape or form. Hopkins’ CV is reputable to say the least. Not only has he collaborated with music icon Brian Eno on albums such as Small Craft On A Milk Sea and the soundtrack to The Lovely Bones, but he also lent a helping hand while producing Coldplay’s Viva La Vida and Mylo Xyloto. As well as a mercury prize nomination for Diamond Mine, his acclaimed collaboration with King Creosote, Hopkins also secured an Ivor Novello nomination with the soundtrack to British science fiction film Monsters. With such an acclaimed portfolio it comes as no shock that anticipations for Hopkins’ fourth solo album Immunity are formidable, but how do the efforts of Eno’s protégée fare?
It becomes rapidly evident when listening to Immunity‘s opening track ‘We disappear’, that Hopkins newest release is no slap-dash affair. A labyrinthian Amon Tobin-esque beat is engineered alongside a rich compound of angelic atmospherics and a skeleton rumbling bass. At just under 5 minutes in length, Immunity‘s inaugural song is the shortest of the album, but by no means is it understated. ‘We Disappear’ unfolds from its gracefully minimalist commencement, into a deranged cataclysm, inducting the listener to both extremes of Hopkins’ repertoire. The musical styles of Immunity exist in two different forms. Gargantuan techno hybrids such as lead single ‘Open Eye Signal’ and album peak ‘Collider’ herald a new beat reliant edge to Hopkins, whilst somehow retaining the elegant refinements of his previous ambient works. At the other end of the spectra are tracks such as ‘Abandon Window’ and ‘Immunity’. Mesmerising swirls of reverb-drenched piano wash away the albums grittiness in exchange for a jubilation of pure bliss. King Creosote’s suppressed vocal contributions to the enchanting title track ‘Immunity’ brings the album to a harmoniously delicate end, securing the song as what many will regard as Hopkins’ peak in aural beauty.
With new instalments from Daft Punk, Boards Of Canada and Four Tet, 2013 is undeniably an important year for electronic music. However, Hopkins’ sophisticated newest chapter, Immunity, has already secured its position as the defining electronic album of the year so far. This multifarious monument is not only sophisticated, but also undeniably personal. With the majority of the songs instrumental, reaching lengths of almost 12 minutes, Hopkins’ fourth solo attempt cannot be regarded as chart friendly. However with such intimate compositions, flawless production and divine beauty, Hopkins will hopefully begin to climb the pedestal in electronic music that he has so rightfully earned.