Wow – what a month for new music!
Jon Hopkins – Immunity
Top notch electronica. Jon Hopkins has been producing music for a while, both for himself and other artists – working with Brian Eno on Small Craft On A Milk Sea and co-producing (with Brian Eno) Coldplay‘s Viva La Vida, for example. He’s released a few albums under his own name but never quite nailed down a distinctive style. Until now. Immunity is a brilliant listen from start to finish – a superbly composed and paced album, ebbing and flowing between hard and soft, excitement and calm.
Kelpe – Fourth: The Golden Eagle
Kelpe‘s brilliant debut album, Sea Inside You, was released in 2004 and remains one of my favourite electronic albums. His follow-ups, Ex Aquarium and Cambio Wechsel, were rather one-paced – he seemed to get sidetracked by crude synth noises and lost much of the depth, melody and intricacy of his debut. I was close to giving up on him but Fourth: The Golden Eagle is a welcome return to form – a better balance between his early subtlety and later bombast.
Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
Wow! Like Daft Punk the month before, these electronica heroes return after an extended hiatus with a masterpiece. I love it and may even go as far as to say it might be my favourite ‘Boards’ album…
Sigur Ros – Kveikur
Having dropped a member to become a three-piece, this is a welcome blast of fresh air after 2012’s somnambulant Valtari. The remaining rhythm section have their moment, unleashing some uncharacteristic feedback snarl on several tracks. It’s good but almost routine for Sigur Ros now and I feel as if their last three albums – this, Valtari and <long Icelandic title> – could probably have been condensed into one diverse highlight-reel of a long player. I’d love to hear them do something completely different.
Holden – The Inheritors
Fascinating Pagan-inspired electronica/techno from this distinctly unprolific artist (last, and pretty much only, release, 2006’s odd mini-album, The Idiots Are Winning). It doesn’t sounds like anything / anyone else – the beats shuffle, often straining against the boundaries of their time signatures; the melodies come from unexpected sources (in some cases actually generated by randomised software) and there is an unpredictable, chaotic quality to it all, like the uneven lump of carved rock that features starkly on the cover.