Monday, December 9, 2013
Jon Hopkins: Immunity (2013)
Onetime Eno collaborator Hopkins aspires to his hero's control of an environment and an extended moment. While glitzy and interesting, though, his music lacks something: beauty, for one thing, even if sterile and alien. The songs dance around without ever introducing variations that seem interesting or effectively bewitching. The best ambient music rewards concentration as well as it does its traditional sonic wallpaper usage.
Even if you do find yourself hypnotized by these sometimes striking grooves and loops, none of the songs -- whatever their length -- does much that isn't obvious from the first few seconds. Yet again, that's only a complaint depending on what you want out of the record. You may love it, but there's just not much setting it apart -- except the strange vibe that it sounds like house music interspersed with the sound of someone repairing a boat. That's right; electronica has entered its yacht rock phase. Beware, or embrace.