A late-night introduction to UK electronic musician Jon Hopkins's new LP didn't immediately reveal why there's been so much critical hype. However, listening the next day with the volume cranked immediately proved the buzz wasn't misplaced. Much of Immunity's power comes from the sheer physicality of the intricate sound design; it needed a loud subwoofer to come alive.
Hopkins has previously worked with Brian Eno, Imogen Heap and Coldplay, but that resumé is misleading. Immunity has more in common with the micro-sampling experimental house of Matthew Herbert and Akufen, building songs out of tiny slices of ambient everyday sounds and raw synthesis.
Immunity does require some patience, and I'm not completely on board with his decision to turn over the second half of the album to stripped-down minimalist excursions. If you don't drift off too early, though, it all resolves, making for a sonically rich and delicately nuanced album.
Top track: Sun Harmonics