Late Night Tales: Jon Hopkins (Night Time Stories, 2015)
‘Pensive’ is a word I associate with three other words that are of interest in this post – ‘late’, ‘night’ and ‘tales’.
‘Pensive’ is a word I have also grown to associate with Jon Hopkins, whether it’s his own production or his selection of other artists’ music that I’m referring to.
No wonder then that the musical marriage of Jon Hopkins and Late Night Tales is such a perfect match. No wonder then that, as diverse in genres as the 21 tracks comprising the album are, the state of mind throughout it is as thoughtful as ever.
And oh, it is a diverse selection!
There are hauntingly beautiful and intricate ambient compositions such as Darkstar’s ‘Hold Me Down’, Four Tet’s stunning ‘Gillie Amma I Love You’ and Sigur Rós side project Jónsi & Alex’s ‘Daniell In The Sea’.
There are acoustic-based songs with a folkish flare like ‘I Am Daylights’ by Songs of Green Pheasant, Alela Diane’s ‘Lady Divine’ and Bibio’s ‘Down To The Sound’.
There are glitchy flirtations such as Nils Frahm’s remix of Peter Broderick’s ‘And It’s Alright’ or Gold Panda’s remix of Health’s ‘Before Tigers’.
Then there’s the rather dance-able and funky ‘After Dawn’ by Letherette and the melancholic beat of Holy Other’s ‘YR Love’.
The album closes with a spoken word piece – an exclusive work called ‘I Remember’ by English poet, artist and Brian Eno collaborator Rick Holland.
As with all editions of Late Night Tales (with a few exceptions), there’s an exclusive cover by the compilation’s curator. Jon Hopkins chose ‘I Remember’ (It’s not the same ‘I Remember’) by Brooklyn experimental rock band Yeasayer, which he turned into a delicate piano composition, complemented by an eerily haunting video.
I might be biased as, full disclosure, ‘pensive’ is a word I associate with myself as well, but Jon Hopkins’s Late Night Tales is a uniquely emotive and finely crafted affair, ‘worth staying up for’.
In Hopkins’s own words:
‘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.’
Well, it worked beautifully, Jon.
Check out the full tracklist of Jon Hopkins’s Late Night Tales below and buy the album here (you can stream it on that same page until Sunday, March 8th).
- Ben Lukas Boysen – ‘Sleepers Beat Theme’ (Unreleased track)
- Darkstar –‘Hold Me Down’
- Holy Other – ‘Yr Love’
- Teebs feat. Rebekah Raff – ‘Verbena Tea with Rebekah Raff’
- Nils Frahm – ‘More’
- Songs of Green Pheasant – ‘I Am Daylights’
- Jonsi & Alex – ‘Daniell In The Sea’
- Evenings – ‘Babe’
- Letherette – ‘After Dawn’
- Jon Hopkins – ‘I Remember’ (Exclusive Yeasayer cover version)
- David Holmes – ‘Hey Maggy’
- Alela Diane – ‘Lady Divine’
- Four Tet – ‘Gillie Amma I Love You’
- School of Seven Bells – ‘Connjur’
- Peter Broderick – ‘And It’s Alright’ (Nils Frahm Remix)
- Health – ‘Before Tigers’ (Gold Panda Remix)
- Last Days – ‘Missing Photos’
- Bibio – ‘Down To The Sound’
- A Winged Victory For The Sullen – ‘Requiem For The Static King Part One’
- Helios – ‘Emancipation’
- Rick Holland – ‘I Remember’ (Exclusive Spoken Word Piece)
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