Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
Promise of first two albums fulfilled...(back to serious reviewing)
on 25 May 2009
Contact Note and Opalescent are excellent albums, but I must confess I only gave them four stars as I felt they didn't really stretch the genre too far. Sure there are moments of divine beauty ,"otherness", drift, "shoegaze"( a term I find hard to like )...but still at times things were a little too safe, the triphop tv-ad like beat a little over-used.
With Insides Jon Hopkins cuts lose- everything from hard beat electronica to folk, from pulsing ambient dark trance to traditional Japanese instrumentation is used to explore new ground with enough interest to captivate most fans of the previous two albums...Think Ulrich Schnauss meets the better "soft" tracks by Plaid (Sincetta, Zamami without going too far/experimental/nuts like plaid can), but with Jon Hopkins' effortless, smooth arrangement. It like the album I hoped Plaid had made..beautiful but without the random noodling...Low Places is utter genius...this is music that moves, takes you, haunts you...
I love it, but the wife finds some bits a little edgy/ too electronic as Jon experiments with breakbeat/jazz percussion patterns, some with hardcore analogue synth sounds, so be warned spa owners and new agers...its not all smooth going. If you like an "edge" to chilled music then its here...every so often deft touches of piano smooth the buzz.
For anyone with an open mind and an appreciation of really beautiful music I highly recommend this album...something for a seriously good pair of headphones and no interruptions...Schnauss, Plaid, Port-Royal,Cocteaus/Guthrie/Rumskib types,Lunz, ambient, chilled electronica fans please enjoy...
ps For anyone disappointed in Jon Hopkins' new exploratory direction there is an ep of three tracks more akin to his pevious material, one track of which "fairytale" is utterly beautiful and highly recommended..