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Jon Hopkins - Music For Psychedelic Therapy (Album Review)

Monday, 22 November 2021 Written by Matty Pywell

Photo: Steve Gullick

Jon Hopkins’ ‘Music For Psychedelic Therapy’ is unlike anything he has produced before. Known for creating tracks that reach for beat-driven euphoria, here he has ditched blueprints that have brought him legions of fans and even a Grammy nod for best dance/electronic album for his 2018 album ‘Singularity’.

Here, you won't find a single beat anywhere. Instead, we have an album of oscillations and field recordings inspired by Hopkins’ time in an Ecuadorian cave. Moulded by the unique setting, ‘Music For Psychedelic Therapy’ aims to bring those surroundings to life.

The centrepiece of the album are the Tayos Caves, Ecuador sequences labelled from 1-3. They combine a range of gushing waterfalls, birdsong and some mind-bending reverberations as Hopkins seeks to lull us into a meditative state.

This is a work intended to be experienced in isolation, and yet this is perhaps its biggest problem. It never feels like Hopkins earns our attention.

Sure, the production quality is high, and the field recordings are pleasant, but that’s all they are. It never rises above background music—you may, in fact, find the urge to scroll on your phone becomes a bit too much.

Everything here sounds pretty, but it’s very hard to feel anything because there’s very little to attach yourself to or interpret. The closing track Sit Around The Fire possesses some of the most evocative sounds, the burning of embers and lush piano instrumentals, but it is ruined by the only vocals on the album and a series of lyrical misfires: “Between all polarities I am.” Its attempts to be deep only succeed in sounding like a guided meditation app.

Jon Hopkins Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon November 22 2021 - HOVE The Old Market
Tue November 23 2021 - LONDON Royal Albert Hall
Sat July 16 2022 - GALWAY Festival Big Top

Compare & Buy Jon Hopkins Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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Jon Hopkins Details New Album 'Music For Psychedelic Therapy', Drops Sit Around The Fire
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