Jon Hopkins - Insides

Album Review by Ewen Millar | 27 Apr 2009
  • Jon Hopkins - Insides
Album title: Insides
Artist: Jon Hopkins
Label: Double Six
Release date: 4 May 2009

The line between the polymath (the person who is good at everything) and the dilettante (the person who flippantly dabbles in everything) is treacherous; musical alchemists who can effortlessly traverse genres, cross-pollenating their own writing with other perspectives successfully, are pretty thin on the ground. Judging by this effort, classically-trained ambient producer Jon Hopkins is one of them. Insides opens with a beautiful violin piece, the sort of music that roots you to the spot, calling up melancholy images from your own life, with your memories acting as film clips, soundtracked by Hopkins' masterful composition. Following this, gears are changed to favour computer-generated beats that violently puncture the melancholic serenity before peaking with the endorphin-spiking optimism of single Light Through The Veins. While ambient music sometimes confuses minimalism with atmosphere, leading to not a lot really happening, Hopkins is an emotional puppeteer who can tug strings and make you dance.

Jon Hopkins plays Hinterland Festival, Glasgow on 30 April.