CMU Playlists

Playlist: Jon Hopkins

By | Published on Wednesday 12 June 2013

Jon Hopkins

In recent years, prolific producer Jon Hopkins has worked with Brian Eno, Coldplay and King Creosote – earning a Mercury nomination for his album with the latter, ‘Diamond Mine’. He also released a collection of solo work in the form of a soundtrack to the British sci-fi film ‘Monsters’ in 2010.

This week he released his fourth solo album proper, ‘Immunity’, a techno album created using various live sounds – from notes tapped on real acoustic instruments to a recording of water running through pipes in a New York hotel.

Tonight he plays a sold out headline show at Village Underground in London, ahead of which we asked him to put together a playlist for us, which he was kind enough to oblige us with.

Click here to listen to Jon’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about his choices.

01 Seefeel – Climactic Phase No 3
This blew my mind when I first heard Scottish DJ OnTheFly play it in a club some years ago. It still has the same effect on me now – eight and a half minutes of hypnotic chordal heaven, apparently made using mainly guitars and looping pedals. There is still nothing else I have heard that sounds like this.

02 Seamus Fogarty – God Damn You Mountain
It may be under two minutes long, but this lament about a lost t-shirt and all it signifies is a very powerful thing. Seamus makes up the Irish contingent of the mostly-Scottish Fence Collective, responsible for bringing me much of my favourite music over the last few years.

03 Songs Of Green Pheasant – I Am Daylights
Sheer beauty – and made in a kitchen by a geography teacher (I was told). Folky guitar-work backed by a chordal drone, somehow blessed with an airy, ethereal glow that allows it to float way above normal singer-songwriter stuff. Vocals harmonise in the ether and the whole is lost in blissful unearthly reverb.

04 Talk Talk – I Believe In You
I want this played at my funeral, if I ever die. Talk Talk at their best – a chord sequence that sounds simple but is actually a bit of an MC Escher staircase, then a u-turn in the middle heralds the arrival of a transcendent choral section that will make any hair you have stand on end.

05 AFX – Analogue Bubblebath
My favourite Aphex track, beautifully warm and fuzzy. He allows the filter on whatever synth is being used to resonate to the point of self-oscillation, drifting up and down gently and almost naively. You’ll know what I mean if you listen to it.

06 Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX – NY Is Killing Me
This has a frankly ridiculous level of energy. Insane, bouncing subs, piercing, resonant harpsichord-esque stabs banging out one of my favourite hooks. Doesn’t sound like it’s from any particular “scene”, which is what I love about all of Jamie’s productions.

07 Holden – Renata
True psychedelia on one of the first new tunes from James Holden since 2005. I first heard this at a festival in Milan, it made me go weird. Analogue modular madness but with a big melodic component. The synths are so satisfying to listen to you can almost chew them with your mind.

08 Mux Mool – Crackers
In general, listening-wise I tend to lean towards the looser, more human end of things, but in some cases 100% brutish grid-like accuracy is what is needed. Slamming arpeggios on every sixteenth from start to finish, this is classic, massively chunky techno. You can’t argue with the energy, please don’t.

09 Amiina – Skakka
Like something out of a slightly uneasy Scandinavian dream. The somewhat unidentifiable sounds making up the core of this were made entirely acoustically, although fuck knows with what. I think water was involved. For a quartet predominantly known for their beautiful symbiotic string work on Sigur Rós records, the total lack of strings in this track was a statement.

10 Popol Vuh – Brothers Of Darkness, Sons Of Light
If you can get the image of German hippies sitting naked in a circle out of your head, you will be transported by this. A purposefully (it seems) meandering and slightly dark first few minutes suddenly flows into a world of light and colour and warmth, with a tapestry of major chords strummed gently on different stringed instruments. It perseveres until you are hypnotised. And makes you want to take a weird amount of acid.