Jon Hopkins - Immunity

A definitive statement of his musical vision and ideas.

Label: Domino

Rating: 8

‘Immunity’ is an hour-long voyage into the musical mind of Jon Hopkins, an artist whose previous collaborations include the likes of Brian Eno, Coldplay and Underworld but is probably best known for his 2011 Mercury Prize nominated album ‘Diamond Mine’ with King Creosote.

Launching with the brutal distorted beats of ‘We Disappear’ it plunges the listener into the same murky musical undergrowth inhabited by the likes of Burial and Four Tet whilst ‘Open Eye Signal’ wires chunky synths over a monumental baseline. New technology and traditional instrumentation combine on the experimental ‘Breathe This Air,’ paving the way for ‘Collider,’ a sprawling multi-layered techno epic that navigates heavy breathing and thudding drum kicks before bleeps, synths and vocal snippets combine to devastating effect. It stands as the centrepiece of an album best appreciated as a start to finish listen with its shifting tempos purposely sequenced to take you on a sonic journey. 

The comedown is felt on the mournful ‘Abandon Window’, a sparse yet beautiful piano-led ballad with the merest of embellishments. The pace is then turned up a notch with the creeping ‘Form By Firelight,’ a blend of slow played piano keys with a smattering of electronic distortion. Amongst a tidal wave of glitchy, sparse and abrasive beats, the warm synths and uplifting melodies of ‘Sun Harmonics’ provide contrast without detracting from the overall flow before the title track brings proceedings to a fitting close. Returning to the sample of doors opening and closing that features on the opening number, the ghostly vocals of King Creosote give it a Sigur Rós-like feel whilst the production again demonstrates a meticulous attention to detail. 

With this record Hopkins has finally succeeded in putting on record a definitive statement of his musical vision and ideas. He may have worked with some incredible producers and artists in the past but this individual piece of work is something he can be very much proud of.