Late Night Tales: Jon Hopkins
Late Night Tales
Late Night Tales – the formula is great, well the idea, as it’s never (quite) a formula. Essentially an artist makes a mixtape, but the clue is in that series-title, Late Night, so these tales are the type told at 1am or 3am or 5am, something like that…it means guilty-pleasures can be safely buried or borrowed, highlighted even, and moody, murky music sits so well in these shadows.
The Jon Hopkins edition of Late Night Tales features a bonus disc that is an hour-long continuous mix; so often of late the Late Night Tales compilers are DJ/producer-types and there’s ample space for them to experiment, to toss in leftovers, to uncover secret gems from their own work as well as in the works of others. Hopkins’ Late Night Tales is certainly no exception there; this sleepy, dreamy, late night/early morning mix features so many highlights, including a Hopkins-played cover of Yeasayer’s I Remember. We also hear from “like-minded” composers, Nils Frahm, David Holmes, Ben Lukas Boysen and producer/DJ-types such as Four-Tet and Bibio.
It’s all rather lovely, soft-focus, amber hues and prepared-piano cues…Leatherette offers the one slightly amped-up moment, but still within the post-dance party vein, the comedown, the wind-up, but otherwise it’s the gorgeous glissando of Sleepers Beat Theme (Ben Lukas Boysen), the majestic sweep of Requieum For The Static King Part One (A Winged Victory For The Sullen) and even the spoken-word closer (a mostly annoying feature of this series) is wonderful here. That’s because Rick Holland’s a great writer and reader, and his work in collaboration with Brian Eno (among others) has him pitched just right for this.
You could be a set of flickering eyelids with this as your soundtrack, you could pause for thought and let the two and a half hours here fill the void while you relax back into that wonderful brand new couch…it’s one of the best in the series and further proof of Hopkins’ open ears signalling great taste.