Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

Jon Hopkins – Emerald Rush

Evocative song title or laundry detergent scent? You decide!


Will Adams: To experience Jon Hopkins’s music is to experience an agitated suspension, as if you’re floating midair while explosions happen around you. This isn’t just a synopsis of “Emerald Rush” and its gorgeous video, it’s a common effect in his work. Apart from an insistent 4×4 kick, everything is constructed to untether you: harmonies move at a glacial, irregular pace, the sense of clear barline dissolves, percussion drifts in and out of time — the aural equivalent of a giant wading through thick mud — and it all comes together on “Emerald Rush.” Five-and-a-half minutes is curiously short for Hopkins, but this is a small sticking point in a song that still sounds this massive.

Tim de Reuse: Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see many fans of Hopkins clamoring for bite-sized radio edits of his tunes. He’s an incredible, unique sound designer whose best work in recent years sees him conjuring up hurricanes of alien timbres and drum machines stretched through funhouse mirrors over six, seven, eleven minutes. This four-minute runt sees him outside of his comfort zone and not really thriving. The gorgeous first minute of the track falls into a predictable groove far too early, the drop is totally superfluous, and the end is disappointingly abrupt; as a whole, saddled with the unfortunate air of an obligation being fulfilled.

William John: Stuttering and tangled, as though the music forgot to warm up properly and was forced to sheepishly negotiate its desired movements during the main event.

Alfred Soto: The processing and reverb obscuring the screeches and beat are fine by themselves, but I like more bounce for this ounce.

Kat Stevens: I loved the woozy sunset road trip of “Open Eye Signal,” and was almost fooled by the sparkly intro of “Emerald Rush” that aims for that same desert hills melancholy. Instead we veer off the highway into an unpleasant, abrasive car-crushing plant where the glittering diamonds must slowly emerge from pressurised carbon. Who has the patience to wait around for diamonds? My dishwasher cycle makes roughly the same noise and it only takes 2 hours 40 minutes on the eco setting.

Katherine St Asaph: Dance music made from what sounds like YouTube buffering: a nice novelty.

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