Jon Hopkins – 'Immunity' album review

An impressively balanced record that sounds both mechanical and human



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Jon Hopkins – 'Immunity'

  • Rated as: 4/5

In 2011, when Scottish folk singer King Creosote and London-based electronic musician and producer Jon Hopkins put out ‘Diamond Mine’ – their Mercury-nominated collaborative album – it seemed like the Scot was doing most of the heavy lifting. His songwriting was the star of the show, while Hopkins was mainly responsible for the ethereal background noise. ‘Immunity’ tells a different story, however, and proves that Hopkins has heart to match his Eno-esque control of ambience.

What he also has to work with is an entirely new and surprising palette of sounds – modem squeals, static belches, fizzing wires and creaking wood – with the end result sounding familiarly real but also unlike any other dance music. ‘Open-Eye Signal’ builds like a night-time drive through doppler-effect key changes to a crunchy car crash of beats, while ‘Collider’ comes across like a French house nightmare: what the Daft Punk robots would make if they were forced to clean toilets in a dystopian future. The beats are almost suffocatingly enormous, yet there’s also sunlight peeping through, with the plaintive piano lines of ‘Abandon Window’ showing Hopkins’s tender side. Taken overall, ‘Immunity’ is an album of reconciled differences: it’s complicated without being off-putting; euphoric but not tacky; and human at the same time as being mechanical. Frankly, it’s an amazing achievement.

Watch Jon Hopkins's 'Open Eye Signal' video

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