Thursday 4 July 2019
Beneficent wizard of electronica embraces blissed-out psychedelia

If you are into the type of electronica that depicts savage human emotions in a way that just can’t be captured through more organic forms of expression, you’ll need to get acquainted with Jon Hopkins.

Disclosure, Brian Eno, David Lynch and Moderat are included in the long row of prominent acts that the English producer and musician Jon Hopkins has collaborated with in his career. But the beneficent wizard of electronica also knows how to create magic on his own.

39-year-old Jon Hopkins was something of a musical child prodigy from the early years. When he was just 12 years old, he was accepted at Royal College of Music in London where he played the piano and dove into classical heroes like Ravel and Stravinsky. Few years later he got caught up in the web of electronic music and started making MIDI music on his first computer, the classic Amiga 500. He later bought a Roland synthesizer and started writing his first electronic compositions.

Hopkins has received great recognition for his hyper aesthetic compositions that roam in the electronic sphere, in the borderlands between ambient, IDM and modern classical. It’s like a many-coloured drop tasting like blissed-out psychedelia.

The versatile Brit has released four critically acclaimed albums full of beautifully lingering electronica under his own name. Immunity (2013) was nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize and has since become a cult classic. His follow-up, Singularity (2018), is everything one could hope for. It's larger, denser, quicker and it has been called a “microhouse masterpiece”. Hopkins’ tracks seamlessly move through a vibrant world, through to the industrial, juddering maw of its highs before drifting into a blossoming cosmos. His pulsing, glitchy EDM and downtempo, ambient sounds are imbued with a grimness that’s hard to turn away from.

When playing live Jon Hopkins is a very extrovert performer. He has demonstrated such skills with big shows at his home country’s Glastonbury festival, at Madison Square Garden, at Sónar and inside London’s large O2 arena. He cooks up an expressive bass party that brings vitamins for both body and soul.