Album Reviews

Jon Hopkins – Music For Psychedelic Therapy

(Domino) UK release date: 12 November 2021

Jon Hopkins - Music For Psychedelic Therapy A few years since the intricate, heady brew of Singularity, Jon Hopkins is back with a record that is meant to be experienced rather than listened to. The monologue on final track Sit Around The Fire says it all: the concept is akin to meditation, emptying your mind and letting the sound wrap around you.

The three-parter Tayos Caves, Ecuador sports a brilliant crescendo, with waterfall sounds that grow in intensity alongside pads which approach from an echoey distance and envelop with their warm tones before ascending into the ether. It’s an early highlight that doesn’t have to be beaten, but subsequent tracks like Deep In The Glowing Heart and Arriving keep that blissful mood going strong.

These two tunes are notable for being direct opposites: the former dazzles with tectonic chords and burbling arpeggiators, a euphoric climax of synths, while the latter keeps things peaceful and simple with gentle humming and a sparse canvas of drones. Hopkins’ work has long been known for its dynamism and drama, and this kind of beatless, ambient expanse is the perfect showcase for these peaks and troughs.

Although such analysis might go against the purpose of this strictly vibes-based release, closer listening is also rewarded with crisp sound design and a graceful sense of pacing. Love Flows Over Us In Prismatic Waves features piano chords in stasis, never hitting and never fully decaying, playing forwards and backwards perpetually, while light metallic rhythms play over the top, halfway between skittering and trickling in nature. Ascending, Dawn Sky’s arrangement is also something to behold, tuneful piano notes sending ripples across a tranquil pool, sparkling, shimmering effects that fade in and and see the song out.

Music For Psychedelic Therapy is a real accomplishment, otherwordly escapism that’s irresistible for the mind, body and soul.

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Jon Hopkins – Music For Psychedelic Therapy
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