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Singularity
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Rik Simpson (programming).
  • Audio Mixers: Cherif Hashizume; Jon Hopkins; Rik Simpson.
  • Recording information: Angel Studios, London; Cafe Music Studios, London; Shoreditch Treehouse, London.
  • Singularity is the proper follow-up to Jon Hopkins' 2013 breakthrough Immunity, a spellbinding album of highly intricate, glitchy techno which nevertheless felt organic, and even classical at times. Like that album, Singularity is filled with frayed feedback, skillfully crafted beats, and gentle piano melodies, as well as the occasional breathy vocals. This time out, there seems to be an extra shot of adrenaline added, and the album seems to reflect a deeper spiritual quest, both inwards and outwards. Hopkins still writes lengthy tracks which steadily build, but these are more suspenseful, and there's a greater impact when a heavier beat drops or a more transcendent synth tone emerges during the second half of cuts like "Singularity" and "Neon Pattern Drum." First single "Emerald Rush" progresses from a heartbeat-like pulse, lightly swirling arpeggios, and stark piano notes to a slow, jagged thump of a beat, which feels jarring when it finally kicks in. As additional sounds pour in, the intensity increases, making the track feel like it's speeding up a bit, even though it isn't. Ten-minute epic "Everything Connected" is easily one of Hopkins' most "progressive" tracks yet, with an ambient/shoegaze shimmer floating over its shaky rhythm, which seems like the only thing preventing the track from ascending to the heavens. Hopkins expands on this celestial state with the beatless "Feel First Life," which spotlights the London Voices choir. "Luminous Beings," the album's lengthiest track, begins with anxious static and suspicious murmurings, but soon reaches clarity, with a simple, resonating triplet melody leading toward peace of mind for much of the piece. The sparse, pretty piano comedown "Recovery" is an entirely fitting conclusion to such a deeply introspective journey. As striking as Immunity was, Singularity feels more developed, and it's ultimately a tough call as to which album is more exciting. ~ Paul Simpson
Professional Reviews
NME (Magazine) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "This time, on album five, the electronica mastermind wants you to have a blissful psychedelic experience, and he's here to guide you through from beginning to end."

Pitchfork (Website) - "Pitched between heat-seeking acid house and ambient bliss, the techno auteur's first album since 2013 is a beat-music odyssey that thrums with spiritual resonance."

Clash (Magazine) - "Highlights `Emerald Rush' and `Everything Connected' are as lush as they promise..."
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