O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Jon Hopkins' Singularity overwhelms Jason

I'll Give You An Annual Review, #17. It's overwhelming

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Jason Lewis, UK Music Editor for outsideleft.com
It's overwhelming

17. Jon Hopkins - Singularity (Domino Records)

Jon Hopkins' first album in five year has an overwhelmingly dramatic introduction.

The title track opens with a single beautiful note, like the first glimpse of a sunrise. But it swiftly turns into  a thunderous growl of guitars and keyboards giving way to a pounding percussive rhythm.  It ushers in the first half of 'Singularity' - a beautifully sequenced selection of intelligent dance tracks that leads up to the overwhelmingly powerful 'Everything Connected'.   

Before we reach there though there are a some scintillating experiences to be had.  The lead single 'Emerald Rush' opens with a beautiful piano melody that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Nils Frahm album before heralding in the offbeat drums, pounding keyboards and sweet vocals.   It’s  a delerious achievement. The static noise and jittery percussion of Neon Pattern Drum sets the stage for (Hopkins own description) the 'techno bastard'  that is 'Everything Connected'.... It’s a 10 and a half minute euphoric celebration. It’s overwhelming. Powerful and joyous. 

Understandably and thankfully, the rest of 'Singularity' is a calmer affair. The muted piano melody and heavenly choral voices of 'Feel First Life' is an invitation to take an inward journey.  The divine solitary piano of 'Echo Dissolve' is like a soothing reference to  Erik Satie.  The shuffling percussion returns on the 12 minute long 'Luminous Beings' which teases the ear with pretty, skipping keyboards.  Finally, the minimal piano of 'Recovery'  acts as an ambient balm before dissolving into.a haze and concluding the album on the same note that it began on, showing, very subtlety, how everything is connected.

photo: Steve Gullick

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Jason Lewis
UK Music Editor

Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Micachu and Black Dice: Rip Up Your Love
On recent releases Micachu & the Shapes and Black Dice tear pop music to pieces, if only to reveal the real truth behind it.
Ripping It Up with The Beverly Brothers
The Beverly Brothers tear into the Everly's back pages
300 Words From London: Damien Hirst Goes To Church
More pills, not many thrills and a bit of religious belly aching. Damien Hirst. God. Again.
Happy Shopper #33: Mark Piggott
Drawing down, drawing to a close, Mark Piggott week in outsideleft... With an almost last hurrah, Mark gives us a little peek inside his shopping basket...
It's Beyonce's World Now...
Beyonc?© was by far the brightest of a zillion stars at the American Music Awards - but all is merely a precursor to her oscar turn as you know who in Dreamgirls
The First Annual Outsideleft Hardy Annual
Introducing the First Annual Outsideleft Hardy Annual - the book of a year in the life of outsideleft.
Some of our favorite things...