Domino Recording Co.
Jon Hopkins’ Immunity was one of the highlights of recorded music for me last year – a (brand new) revelation. I loved it so much – and love it so much, still – that I checked out the soundtrack to a movie I have little interest in, simply because it was Hopkins who had created the score. I’ve been waiting for whatever he will do next.
And here it is, a four-track EP called Asleep Versions – a whole new set of sounds from Hopkins, and best thought of – and played – as if a single 25-minute track. It is divided up into quarters but it flows beginning to end as if some enhancement of/to that strange kind of not-quite-silence in the darkest hours before the dawn.
Recorded in Iceland Hopkins sets about reworking four of Immunity’s key pieces but in reverse order – so we open with a slow crawl through that album’s title track, past collaborator King Creosote (aka Kenny Anderson) adding his gorgeous vocals as the tune slowly unfolds across a flat line.
Raphaelle Standell assists on Form By Firelight, making a version of the music Aphex Twin bested on Drukqs, but this sounds like that material with all the kinks ironed out – and a ghostly vocal is the guiding light, the beats so soft beneath.
The shortest track here is Breathe – a piano interlude, or prelude to the album’s closing track. It’s a Nils Frahm-like framing of the mood before Open Eye Signal is transformed from the life-affirming surge that it was as Immunity’s centrepiece to this glacial soundtrack for conducting an autopsy. It’s a different piece of music entirely and spellbinding.
Hopkins keeps trying things – keeps finding new ways in. And Asleep Versions is the sort of EP you’ll want to play on a loop, getting lost inside it, the music rolling over your again. And again.