On Immunity Jon Hopkins extends beyond his early film soundtrack work, Brian Eno collaborations and earlier solo releases to fuse the clatter and pulse of techno with the mood and deception of gentle ambient music – so on Open Eye Signal he creates a scene where a party-ruined Mr. Oizo is chilling out with Deadmau5 and Four-Tet.
The glide across Open Eye Signal and opener, We Disappear, is subtle and slinky yet somehow these tunes are huge – widescreen trance extensions, unmissable, almost entirely in your face but never off putting.
Breathe This Air calms everything down with that crepuscular sound that you might hear anywhere from an off-the-radar Tricky album to John Digweed at his finest, then it’s almost Burial-esque with the march of footsteps a subversion to the main nod of the tune. It might even recall Moby and those godawful Robert Miles concoctions, but that seems cruel to say for this is so good – the soundtrack to up-late-at-night-alone, the post-gig comedown.
Collider picks back up on the relentless pulse of Open Eye Signal but clips the beat, so it’s almost Flying Lotus flirting with Boards of Canada.
And then Abandon Window reminds us this is the work of a composer – a series composer – acoustic piano framing the delicate atmospherics, it’s similar to Hopkins’ work with Eno, or Eno’s work on his wonderful 2010 album, Making Space.
The mood is lifted, just, on Form By Firelight, that glide is back – the float of the tune a glorious waft, as Hopkins nods back to his soundtrack ideas.
And then an almost hip-hop feel arrives with Sun Harmonics, before the title track is a gentle, almost formless coast to the end of the album. It’s as if Boards of Canada decided to remix and remake Neil Young’s Will To Love.
Somehow Immunity roars out of the gate, then pulls up and gently rolls along, somehow it is both the Hare and the Tortoise. Somehow it’s a wonderful surprise every time I listen to it.
A wonderful album that is both the peak of Saturday night and the start of the comedown.