John Hopkins – Insides
Okay, the very fact that Coldplay likes John Hopkins shouldn’t mean that you shouldn’t like John Hopkins. Insides is a cracking LP with some utterly beautiful moments. Those who recently discovered artists like Ulrich Schnauss should certainly warm to Mr H’s muse, especially when they hear rich, piano-driven compositions like Vessel or the beautiful, brittle Wire, which puts me in mind of some tracks from the brilliant Lunz Variations LP of a few years back.
Insides is a very confident LP; certainly ethereal but possessing a great deal of punch and verve. It seems (on the evidence of the LP’s muscular title track especially), as if this classically trained pianist has fallen hook line and sinker for the world of dance music, especially the more strident electronica and drum’n’bass.
There’s a pop feel too, it’s not all blurps and thumps, or gentle piano reflections. Light Through the Veins is a stonking piece of accessible, reserved electronic “dance” that never outstays its welcome. In some ways it’s a little too reserved until about 6 minutes in, when the metronomic beat is replaced by a beautiful piano coda. After a couple of very quiet moments, A Drifting Up restores some momentum only for Autumn Hill to bring the LP quietly to a close.
Intelligent music, and highly recommended.
Words: Richard Foster