For casual electronic music fans Jon Hopkins is likely best known as one-third of the creative force behind Brian Eno’s much-hyped 2010 effort Small Craft on a Milk Sea . But as Immunity quickly proves he has some seriously solid solo chops as well.
Following up 2009’s Insides Hopkins’ fourth solo album marks a big change of pace for the U.K.-based producer (who’s also worked with the likes of Coldplay and Underworld) as he trades his often classically tinted compositional nature for the sort of beat-oriented one you’d expect out of Actress Burial or Pantha Du Prince. Rhythmically driven and atmospheric as hell the record is most definitely murky and sombre but also presents a stellar balancing act involving coarse digital pulses offset by celestial melodically touching tones soul-warming vocal snippets and just the right amount of organic found sound. Amongst the dancefloor ambitions Hopkins also presents two truly beautiful piano pieces — “Abandon Windows” and the stunner of a title track — which up the human factor all that much more.
Immunity is high-art techno at its best and one of 2013’s best surprises so far — something that should do wonders for Hopkins’ profile.