Singularity picks up very similarly to how 2013’s Immunity left off, with renowned composer and DJ Jon Hopkins painstakingly creating music that feels crafted directly from the innermost layers of human emotion. There is so much propulsion and drive, and no wasted layers of sound or musical phrases – this is all very purposeful, very deep, and very moving electronic music. Title track “Singularity” is as ominous a song as can be found on this album, but while Immunity revelled in darkness and shadows, there are tracks here that show a softer, more delicate side to Hopkins’ work. “Emerald Rush” is crafted upon the most fragile of piano melodies, “Feel First Life” feels true to its name, evocative of the sun rising over a setting of stirringly natural beauty, while “Everything Connected” positively soars. True to his talents, none of these moments of seeming introspection or musical fragility stay as such for long, nor do they succumb to melancholy, but it is refreshing to see Hopkins willing to branch out and demonstrate his growth as both a producer and composer of very powerfully emotive music.
Such is the move towards a more reflective tone to his music, paired with the titles to many of the tracks, that you can’t help but wonder if Jon Hopkins has spent some time since 2013 pursuing philosophy or faith. Titles like “Everything Connected” and “Luminous Beings” certainly seem reminiscent of many aspects of Eastern philosophy and faith, while the more upbeat tone seems to mirror that search for answers within the mystery of life. It would not be a shock either, especially given the overwhelmingly positive response to Immunity that Hopkins was forced to re-assess his place in the continually developing whirlwind of fame and both the possibilities and expectations that it provides. Regardless of the filter applied or its cause, there is no questioning that this is music that is much more optimistic and seemingly thoughtful; like Immunity, it also seems best heard as a complete experience so set aside 60 uninterrupted minutes and your best set of headphones so that you can create as immersive an experience as the album merits.
2018 has already proven to be an excellent year for electronic music with inspired releases from, among others, Rival Consoles and Daniel Avery. With Singularity, Jon Hopkins stakes a claim to being one of the most impactful and important EDM producers in his field, let alone one of the best of the year. This is an album that cannot help but impress.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: JON HOPKINS – SINGULARITY