Late Night Tales: Jon Hopkins - (2xLP Vinyl Compilation)

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Late Night Tales welcome UK producer and musician Jon Hopkins to the fold with a beautiful sequence of songs and music.
Requiem for a dreamstate. It’s possibly somewhere between heaven, hell and high water, down the Thames Delta towards Eden. It may involve techno and a distorted state or simply mates sat listening to music together, drifting on the open sea of their minds. This is Jon Hopkins’ world, not so much joining the dots as colouring the whole damn picture in.
After releasing his debut album 'Opalescent' at the rookie age of 21 in 1999, he’s gone on to work with Brian Eno and David Holmes, produced King Creosote and via Eno, worked on three Coldplay albums. He released the breakthrough album 'Immunity' in 2013, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize.
The story arc with which Hopkins succeeded on 'Immunity' makes its appearance on Late Night Tales too with a perfectly sculpted excursion on this widescreen mix. . Opening with the unreleased 'Sleepers Beat Theme' by composer Ben Lukas Boysen, ghostly pianos skip elegantly hither and thither, among rising strings, as on Darkstar’s ‘Hold Me Down’. Nils Frahm is here, his sonic palette perfect for the job, while labelmate A Winged Victory For The Sullen contribute ‘Requiem For The Static King Part I’. Sigur Ros offshoot Jónsi & Alex’s heroic ‘Daniell In The Sea’ sends us forth towards the Baltic with tears streaming.
Beats occasionally appear, as on the Grace Jones-sampling ‘Yr Love’ by Holy Other or the pair of Black Country acts Bibio and Letherette, whose ‘After Dawn’ is almost spry in comparison to the minor key symphonies on display here. The perfect contrast to this comes from Alela Diane’s wistful ‘Lady Divine’ or even Four Tet’s mesmerising ‘Gillie Amma I Love You’, with its enchanting kids’ choir. Exclusive to this release, Jon Hopkins provides a startlingly vulnerable new piano version of Yeasayer’s ‘I Remember’.
Poet and fellow Brian Eno collaborator (their joint album 'Drums Between The Bells' was released by Warp in 2011) Rick Holland narrates the exclusive spoken word closer 'I Remember', underpinned with additional sound design by Hopkins.
"Putting this album together was a unique opportunity for me to present music that I have been listening to for years, free from the constraints of a club setting or from trying to stick to one genre. I chose tracks not just because they have been important to me but because of how they sit together, putting as much thought into the transitions and overall narrative as I did into the track choices. I mixed by key and by texture more than anything else, using original sound design, pivot notes, and often recording new synth or piano parts to link things together in a way that flows as naturally as possible. I hope you enjoy it"
Jon Hopkins

 



You’d be hard pressed to find an artist who fits Late Night Tales better than Jon Hopkins. His thoughtful approach towards techno, inclusive attitude towards the mainstream, and penchant for the lugubrious may as well describe the series itself. Here, he assumes the role of dreamweaver with all the comfort of a man slipping into his favorite pajamas.

F

or over a decade, the Late Night Tales mix series has found extended life by providing artists—mostly European, mostly centrally located in the indie-dance continuum—with an acceptable venue for their post-whatever tracklists. Essentially just natural runoff from the glut of afterparty compilations that overstuffed the "various" placards in dance music sections in record stores everywhere for most of the early 2000s, Late Night Tales’ big trick is a semantic one. By reframing these mixes so they’re more about a non-specific 3 A.M. state of mind as opposed to corny aspirational moods (lest we forget "chillout") or Balearic Valhallan ideals (the café, the beach house), the series has widened its brief to allow for more forms of early morning contemplation, in turn becoming a sort of Rorschach test for its contributing artists.

Thanks to appearances from the likes of Air, Röyksopp, and Belle and Sebastian, the series has uncovered all manner of post-party comedown gentleness and record collection curiosities, but you’d be hard pressed to find an artist who fits the profile of the ideal Late Night Tales subject better than Jon Hopkins. Coming off the back of his breakthrough, 2013’s Immunity, Hopkins is a session musician with a thoughtful approach towards techno, an inclusive attitude towards the mainstream (he’s worked with Imogen Heap and Coldplay) and a default setting that tends towards the lugubrious, all values that might as well describe the label itself.

Hopkins assumes the role of resident dreamweaver with all the comfort of a man slipping into his favorite pajamas. The album’s opening section is a confidently strung together sequence of shimmering pianos, arpeggiated synths, gently plucked strings, and yawning techno that culminates in Nils Frahm’s effervescent "More" and immediately establishes Hopkins’ touch for the featherlight. A composerly sensibility informs the rest of the mix, not only courtesy of contributions from fellow composers Frahm, Ben Lukas Boysen, David Holmes, and Peter Broderick, but also in the way Hopkins deploys solo instrumentals to close chapters and cleanse palettes. Between Boysen’s opener ("Sleepers Beat Theme"), Helios’ closer ("Emancipation"), and the album’s centerpiece (Hopkins’ solo piano cover of Yeasayer’s "I Remember"), Late Night Tales feels as neatly demarcated into three acts as any film or book.

In between those three pillars sits an equitable spread of current electronic (Holy Other, Teebs, and Four Tet), folk music (Alela Diane, Songs of Green Pheasant) and indie rock (School of Seven Bells, HEALTH, Jónsi & Alex). Hopkins moves easily between genres; like the airy music he’s selected, many of his transitions feel almost invisible. While that’s mostly a good thing, it’s easy to miss a little bit of range from this set of songs. With the exception of Letherette’s "After Dawn"—which is pretty much the only moment that things push past third gear, and which sounds especially great in the context of so much gossamer music—there aren’t even any tiny tremors to be felt from Late Night Tales. In the end, though, that feels like a minor quibble in the face of such a mix; this is an inspired collection of songs, even if you do get the feeling Hopkins prefers to spend his late nights alone.

By: Pitchfork (7.9 Rating)


A Side:
1. Ben Lukas Boysen - Sleepers Beat Theme (4,52)
2. Darkstar - Hold Me Down (7.18)
3. Holy Other - Yr Love (4.42)
4. Teebs - Verbena Tea with Rebekah Raff (4.24)


B Side:
1. Nils Frahm – More (8.56)
2. Songs of Green Pheasant - I Am Daylights (3.45)
3. Evenings - Babe (2.52)
4. Letherette - After Dawn (4.31)


C Side:
1. Jon Hopkins - I Remember (4.54)
2. David Holmes - Hey Maggy (4.59)
3. Alela Diane - Lady Divine (5.12)
4. Last Days - Missing Photos (2.02)
5. School of Seven Bells – Connjur (4.37)

D Side:
1. Peter Broderick - And It's Alright - Nils Frahm Remix (4.34)
2. Four Tet - Gillie Amma I Love You (5.47)
3. Bibio - Down To The Sound (2.35)
4. A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Requiem For The Static King 1 (2.46)
5. Helios - Emancipation (2.35)
6. Rick Holland - I Remember (3.39)



Compiled By, DJ Mix – Jon Hopkins
Design – The Reptile House
Photography By [Cover] – Peter Ashworth
Photography By [Jon Hopkins Photo] – Steve Gullick
Production Manager [Mix], Mastered By – cheekypaul*
Notes
Includes a bonus exclusive download code to Jon Hopkins "LateNightTales" of the unmixed track versions, in both WAV 16bit & MP3 formats.
Track 07 is written as "Jonsi & Alex - Daniell In The Sea" instead of "Jónsi & Alex - Daníell In The Sea", which is the original title.
Track 14 is an edit of the original by Jon Hopkins, titled "Connjur (Jon Hopkins LNT Edit)" on the official Late Night Tales soundcloud.

℗ & © 2015 Night Time Stories Ltd.