Jon Hopkins @ SWG3 Galvanizers, Glasgow, 19 Oct
Jon Hopkins is met with a hero's welcome tonight at SWG3 as we help him celebrate his latest opus, Singularity, and all before bedtime
Ever since his critically acclaimed fifth studio album Singularity was released back in May, Glasgow has been hungry for a slice of the Jon Hopkins pie and tonight he arrives complete with all the sensory-pleasing, pie-enhancing sides you could hope for.
A thin, green horizontal line of light permeates the darkness behind him as Singularity’s titular opening track brews and swells. Tonight’s crowd, aside from talking over the more delicate moments, are in fine fettle from the off: whooping, whistling and hollering as the song builds, worshipping their techno God, and when the beat finally kicks in two thirds of the way through the track it’s felt within every fibre of every being in the room.
Even taking off his jumper after the first track is met with exultant adoration tonight; Hopkins means serious business and so do Glasgow. Emerald Rush begins with absolute ambient beauty, paired with a glorious galaxial backdrop before its glitchy pulsations lift the room, and when the drop comes the accompanying animation's protagonist (as featured in the track’s music video) soars off a cliff edge into an aurora borealis of colour and it’s thrilling.
Throughout his set, Hopkins is joined on stage a handful of times by two ladies dressed as if they’re in Tron – they gracefully step forward, one on each side of the stage and, wielding phantasmagorical LED poi, they create hard-to-understand-how-it-works shapes and starscapes in the ether as they masterfully swing their lit batons overhead and by their sides, at points giving the illusion of throwing light to one another. It’s a welcome addition to Hopkins’ live show which delightfully adds to the drama of his thick, effervescent and otherworldy beats.
Following on from Singularity’s opening four tracks played in sequence, Open Eye Signal, with its hypnotic squelching bass, informs an unsurprising rush to the front – it is, after all, past 9pm now and people are well on their way to a mad Friday night. Finishing his main set by 9.30pm on the dreamy Luminous Beings, Hopkins steps out from behind his techno altar, walks to the front of the stage with a smile across his face wider than your average Scot, claps above his head and disappears into the blackness, though it’s not long before he’s back for a three-part encore which ends the night on Insides' Light Through the Veins.
Swayers, fist pumpers and pogoers are all accounted for tonight, and one man even headbangs so hard during Open Eye Signal that we’re convinced his head might fall off. It may have been an early slot tonight (the show was all done and dusted before 10pm) but it was clearly still a big Friday night out for most; maybe more club nights should be done before bedtime?