Everything Connected

I got the new Jon Hopkins album at the weekend, a beautifully packaged album on two vinyl discs (which are pressed onto a sumptuous deep blue vinyl to match the album cover. Occasionally I buy¬† a new record and am shocked to find when I take it out of the inner sleeve that it has been pressed on black vinyl. I’m happy with black vinyl too- I don’t really need all these colourful discs).

Hopkins suffered from writer’s block after his 2013 album and according to an interview I read recently found his way out of it with a combination of meditation and hallucinogens. The album is a beauty, a record to lose oneself in, expertly paced with a balance of electronic grooves, meditative piano pieces and tracks which are physical, that demand a response from the listener. In places the rhythms and the drums threaten to run away with songs, the synths and instruments having to twist themselves inside out to keep up. The one that keeps me flicking the needle back at the moment is the ten minute techno track Everything Connected, a monster of beats and bass and synths, building and dropping and getting a little bit frazzled. It is, as people like to say, a banger. It fits well with last year’s Bicep album and that recent Four Tet remix of Bicep.

I am now away for a few days. We are taking ourselves off after work tonight to the Lake District for a few days, camping and living under the constellations Hopkins has adorned his record with. See you for more blogging fun early next week.

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Buzzing

This is more of a Saturday night post but by Saturday night I shall be on holiday, hundreds of miles away so it’s a Tuesday morning post instead.

This superb hour long mix by Jon Hopkins via the ever reliable Fact has had me skipping about the room recently- there’s a magnificent bit about twenty minutes in where the tsk-tsk-tsk drums starting to be overtaken by a buzz-buzz-buzzing noise, like a swarm of bees have entered the control room and are flying around in time to the music. And that’s just the first twenty five minutes- it keeps getting better and better (and noisier and louder) after that. He worked with Coldplay via Brian Eno a few years back but there’s no need for that fact to worry you here- this is full on electronic dance music of the minimal house-techno variety. Free download too (but annoyingly it won’t embed).