Jon Hopkins – Singularity

Jon Hopkins plays with light and dark to exhilarating effect on Singularity producing a stunning rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows

Album Review by Tallah Brash | 01 May 2018
Album title: Singularity
Artist: Jon Hopkins
Label: Domino
Release date: 4 May

There’s rarely time these days to sit down and really listen to an album beginning to end, but that’s what Jon Hopkins wants you to do with Singularity, and if you can afford the just-over-an-hour-long runtime then you’ll get so much more out of this record than you thought possible.

While finding emotion in lyricless music can be tough, with nothing to cling on to for meaning, Singularity is bursting at the seams with it; ten-and-half-minute-long Everything Connected, which Hopkins tweeted was the “energetic peak” of the record is just one example. Wubbing basslines and otherworldly synths soar so high your chest feels tight, and when it breaks to let in the light of Feel First Life, it’s a massive relief and release; with its overwhelming sense of calm, it’s like being pushed over an emotional cliff. It’s the ambient high of the record; delicate and serene, it breathtakingly combines considered piano with celestial choral.

As well as the emotional ride, repeat listens of Singularity offers up hidden trinkets like the distant whistling kettle that underpins much of Emerald Rush; the busy street noises that can be heard beneath Echo Dissolve’s sublime piano; bouncing ping pong balls in the just shy of 12-minute-long Luminous Beings; and the faint submarine radar you can hear towards the end of album closer Recovery.

Much like Immunity before it, Jon Hopkins plays with light and dark to exhilirating effect and with Singularity it feels like he’s levelled up the melding of two worlds: ambient and techno. Hopkins’ signature deep tissue massage bass is stitched together throughout, with unreal moments of musical beauty making Singularity a simply stunning album of emotional highs and lows.

Listen to: Emerald Rush, Everything Connected, Feel First Life (or the whole thing if you can)

Or listen to the full ten-and-a-half-minute version here: