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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true ambient masterpiece
Never before have I been compelled to write a review about anything for Amazon, but this album is so good that I felt I had to get my thoughts down! I am a fan of the chillout and ambient genre, but am very particular about what I like, and this really hits the spot, and can claim to be one of the best albums I have ever heard.
The music could perhaps best be...
Published on 17 Aug 2004 by A C Lazenbury

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something of a disappointment
I purchased Jon Hopkins' previous album, "Opalescent", after reading comparisons with William Orbit's "Strange Cargo" project, and was extremely impressed. Complex melodies and rich textures, coupled with a very laid back groove, made for a superb album, especially from someone with no previous experience.
So, when "Contact Note" was announced, I preordered it...
Published on 20 Aug 2004


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true ambient masterpiece, 17 Aug 2004
By 
A C Lazenbury (Nottingham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
Never before have I been compelled to write a review about anything for Amazon, but this album is so good that I felt I had to get my thoughts down! I am a fan of the chillout and ambient genre, but am very particular about what I like, and this really hits the spot, and can claim to be one of the best albums I have ever heard.
The music could perhaps best be described as "Deep Ambient/chilled Drum & Bass, with Classical piano and New Age influences, (and some very interesting sound effects), mixed into astonishingly complex, dream-like, layered soundscapes".
I would like to review the tracks individually, but since my academic background is not in music, I'm sure that these wouldn't really do the music justice. However, while all tracks are exceptional, ones that deserve special mention are "Nightjar" and "Black and red".
"Nightjar" is one of my favourite tracks. After an almost cinematic opening, it gradually builds up to a spine-chillingly beautiful piano melody that betrays Jon Hopkins' classical training (Any readers who have heard some of the works of contemporary Italian composer Ludovico Einoudi will have some idea of what I mean), all combined with soft beats and swirling sythesisers.
"Black and Red" is like nothing I have ever heard before, and could be called "experimental". Although it may not be to everyone's liking, it is another of my favourites. It starts with scratching sound effects, which decay over a deep bass rumble, building up to a minimalist, almost sinister, piano tune, with rumbling bass and distorted vocals. This merges into what can best be described as a "1950s flying saucer" sound effect, which suddenly cuts out into twinkling synthesisers followed by swirling atmospheres , gradually fading to an ethereal ambient piece.
While I have singled these two out for special mention, the rest of the album is still truly breathtaking as well. Unlike quite a lot of other modern electronic music, this album doesn't just repeat a simple tune over a fairly monotonous beat, but is more in the style of a classical piece. The music develops, builds and moves throughout the whole duration, with each layer not detracting anything from the overall sound, and working with all the others in perfect harmony.
So in summary, "Contact Note" combines unusual beats, heavenly vocals, soaring, swirling atmospheres, interesting sound effects and beautiful piano and acoustic guitar into an amazing musical journey. I for one, will be eagerly awiting more pieces from Jon Hopkins in the future.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRULY MAGNIFICENT RECORD!!!, 10 Sep 2004
This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
Jon Hopkins remains the best kept secret in the chill out/ ambient genre - but with 'Contact Note' he is sure to achieve the success he so richly deserves.
After listening to his critically acclaimed and musically rich debut 'Opalescent', the wait began for the follow up. Though 'Opalescent' is definately worth checking out for the freshness of its sound and both impressive and evoking melodies - 'Contact Note' demonstrates a maturity and development in it's complexity which was, perhaps, the only ingredient missing in the talented Hopkins' impressive debut.
In 'Contact Note', the 'comfort' factor of 'Opalescent' is less evident and is replaced by a more challenging, yet ultimately far more rewarding record in which the progression in Hopkins' own ability is obvious. His inspired use of voices on 'Second Sense' is one such example and the quality of the production on the whole record is nothing less than remarkable. That much of the music is already being used for adverts and tv is unsuprising as each song holds its own unique sound, resonance and feel.
Bottom line: a truly brilliant record that deserves to rocket Hopkins to great success and acclaim - beautifully melodic, haunting and atmospheric - 'Contact Note' is a sublime achievement and brings with it that insatiable appetite for more. And this, with only two records to his name, is my only complaint!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ive only just realised how good this is, 16 May 2005
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This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
Having had this album, due to a number of reviews in various mags, for about 5 months without really appreciating it, I started listening to it again over a quite weekend at my Wifes parents house and I simply have not stopped listening to it since. This is a grower! There are very few obvious melodic tracks, but its the textures that draw you in, forget melodies, just listen to the sounds, the ideas, the scope. It is probably the best produced album I have heard in years with buckets of ideas, and unexpected turns. You should also listen in stereo on headphones where it really shines, and is one of those rare albums where you discover something new each time you listen. Beautifull!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece from beginning to end!, 8 May 2010
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This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
To purchase an album you've never heard based on recommendations and descriptions alone is a big risk: one I very rarely take. So imagine the delight when on the very first play, I was competely and utterly spellbound. This whole album is one big delicious aural treat for those with sensitive ears that can recognise something truely special, and special it is indeed. You may think I'm gushing, but to find yourself utterly captivated and moved to write about a piece of work in this way, must give an indication of it's true magic.
Every single track here works it's spellbinding unuiqueness almost hypnotically, never on any level being spoiled by something annoying or out of place. It just glides along, journeying sometimes through lovely gentle, soothing rhythms, sometimes slowing down into the most purest gentle brain stroking ambience, sometimes visiting sublime and haunting vocals beautifully perfromed by Lisa Lindley-Jones and the better known Imogen Heap. Quoted on the sleevenotes as angelic vocals. I couldn't agree more. All held delicately within a coocoon of a euphoric bed of quality that invokes the biggest smile you can manage, like moments in "Nightjar" when the piano enters the field of play and then subtlely drifts away again leaving the listener delicately hanging on a silk-like thread of glorious ambience before the track bows out giving way to the next.
Never short on melodies or desperately grasping to any kind of genre, Contact Note just confidently dabbles and gently plays with an assortment of styles. Even when the rhythms and drums kick in you never stray far from the path, you almost don't notice how the some of the tracks build up, you're just so caught up mesmorised by the atmosphere and nurtured into trusting you're in capable hands that will lead you to the path of excellence, wherever that place may be.
An album for any occassion, early morning to accompany the sunrise or when the lights go down and you're feeling refelctive and mystical, this album should be available on prescription to combat depression, boredom, loneliness and induce natural euphoria!
As you're nearing the end of this incredible journey on "Luna Moth", you'll realise how serious I am at it's very beauty and power, the very last note fading out leaving you feeling, you've spent just over the last hour in the closest place to musical heaven you're ever likely to find.
Look at the price, there's nothing to lose, I don't believe anyone could dislike this album, you could try, but you'll fail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best electronica album ever?, 21 Sep 2007
This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
As someone who found Jon Hopkins's previous album very pleasant but a little too sweet, this is far more up my street. There is far more confidence on display here, heavier deeper beats, plus most importantly far stronger melodic content. From the pounding orbital-esque hooks of Symmetry to the straight-up euphoria of 100, or the incredible multi-layered use of imogen heap's voice in Second Sense, this whole album is a journey from start to finish, covering many styles, yet making it sound effortless and flowing at the same time. And the quieter moments - the still, achingly beautiful piano of Searchlight, and the simply heart-stopping final choral track Luna Moth - are not upstaged by the more upfront, upbeat numbers. For best results listen to the entire thing on headphones.

Best, most diverse, most sublime melodic electronica album of all time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars utterly lovely !, 20 April 2006
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This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
A lovely chillout, gently funky, and highly melodic set which I love, more each time I play it. This is a fantastic cd, and goes straight up there in my best five meolidc chillout electronica along with Moby's "Ambient", and Yokota's "Sakura".
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Ambient God, 10 Sep 2004
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This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
Having had "Opalescent" on my Stereo, PC and Walkman for almost 2 years I eagerly awaited the arrival of "Contact Note". And, as I already suspected, I was not disappointed. Jon Hopkins is one of the quiet talents of the UK music scene and creates music which can take you through many different emotional states in 60 minutes. An outstanding second album, buy this now. If you haven't purchased either of his CDs do so now and support underground British music at its finest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER BRILLIANT ALBUM, 22 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
I have bought other albumsof his and again this is a brilliant one. It is haunting and clever and nothing like anyone else. Superb.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
If you like music without lyrics it's worth trying this, perhaps sampling some tracks first, just to check. That's what I did and I haven't regretted buying this one little bit - excellent cd all the way through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Work of art, 11 July 2013
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This review is from: Contact Note (Audio CD)
I bought this CD to study production, but of course i've become as hooked as anyone could be. it's very diverse CD and the production is not like many other artists, which i was glad to hear. with all the pop music sounding the same these days, it's really great to have artists like Jon :)
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