By Alex Harrison
Jon Hopkins blurs the lines between nature and technology in his meditative, abstract fifth LP, Singularity. Dense, artificial beats and echoing soundscapes intertwine with moments of quiet, solitary piano to deliver an entirely refreshing record.
Singularity is, funnily enough, split into two parts. The album opens with abstract single note soundscapes that give way to bouncing synthesizer arpeggios, combined with dance-like drum beats, that do all that they can to encourage the involuntary bobbing along of one’s head. Each track blurs into the next and culminates in “Everything Connected,” which marks Singularity’s halfway point and a distinctive shift in gear. The second half of the album opts for quieter, more naturalistic piano moments that draw the listener’s ear into a more intimate space. The shift in sound on the second half of the album perhaps reflects Hopkins’ own musings on the role of technology in the natural world, and vice versa.
The philosophical implications of Hopkins’ own aesthetic choices on Singularity will probably always be up for debate. However, underneath those interpretations lies a beautiful, cohesive record that will delight fans of Hopkins’ blend of expansive electronic elements and intimate sensibilities.Jon Hopkins