Jon Hopkins | 05/10/09

Image: jon hopkins ica black and white

Seven Gulps of Air features two brand new tracks from Jon Hopkins alongside three radical re-mixes from this year’s Insides LP. Full of directional shifts in colour and sound the canvas of Insides is stretched into new possibilities by remixers Tunng, Geese and Tom Middleton. Their adventurous treatment of the material is echoed in the sources and free spirit of the two new tracks: Seven Gulps of Air & A Drifting Down.

Seven Gulps of Air came into being via a commission from designer Christopher Kelly, for his label Theatre De La Mode’s latest fashion film, shown at London Fashion Week. Mutual friend Mike Lindsay, the production and songwriting fulcrum of Tunng, created the rhythmic template of the track, which drew heavily on the collection’s African themes.


Seven Gulps of Air (with Tunng): the title track configures live handclapping and vocal incantations from Malinese singer Abdallah Ag Housseyni. The result sounds like someone stamping their way down to the centre of the earth, following the voices in their head and the nicest and nastiest of basslines.

Small Memory (Tunng remix): Tunng turn Small Memory into a reeling medicine show. Playing around the original’s piano line you can hear bottles being uncorked and the loping groove of footsteps swaying, before settling into the sound of the early hours drifting by.

The Low Places (Geese remix): a new performance by Geese who treat their violins and violas as hand percussion as much as chamber instruments. The result is the sound of every scrape of the bow and dust of the resin falling in counterpoint to original’s eerie melody.  The tension of the strings taken to the tightest point of collapse before finding a strange kind of calm.

A Drifting Down: reworks Insides’ A Drifting Up by magnifying its details. Starting around King Creosote’s hums and Emma Smith’s violin phases then dispersing into an electro-acoustic depth of field, shifting around a narcotic moment’s pause for thought.

Light In The Veins (Tom Middleton Remodel): Tom Middleton’s euphoric take on Light In The Veins which manages to replace the blood stream with pure white light, pushing further into hands in the air, blissed out synaesthesia.

Seven Gulps Of Air EP will be available on Domino on Monday the 16th of November via digital download only (DS022D).

Jon Hopkins’ albums demonstrate a huge range of powerful emotion and texture, all informed by great musical intelligence and electronic wizardry. Live, Jon takes things to the next level. His intense and schizophrenic performance can bring you from the extremes of tender, acoustic piano to bassy, grimy techno. 

Jon’s forthcoming tour includes four dates in the UK and Northern Ireland, with a very special show at King’s Place in London on October 8th. As part of Beyond The Loop Festival - a four day event celebrating leading British artists who blur the edges of contemporary classical and electronic music - Jon will be joined by violinist David Rossi (Trentemoller, The Verve) as well as genius guitarist Leo Abrahams (David Byrne, Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker).


Full live dates are:

October 2nd: Belgium, Opwijk, Pluto Festival, with Four Tet and Rustie

October 8th: London, UK: Beyond The Loops Festival, King’s Place (Hall One) – Headline show featuring Davide Rossi and Leo Abrahams

October 9th: France, Bordeaux, venue TBC. Live show featuring a collaboration with Tim Exile

October 20th: London, UK: Southbank Centre, Purcell Rooms, Queen Elizabeth Hall – semi-acoustic set, with Soap & Skin

October 22nd: Holland, Amsterdam, Bimhaus

October 23rd: UK, Manchester: The Warehouse Project (beneath Piccadilly train station), Eat Your Own Ears Warehouse party

October 24th: France, Lyon: Epicentre Moderne, with Tim Exile

October 25th: Austria, Graz, Elevate Festival

For a sneak preview of Jon’s live show take a look at him perfoming the track 'Insides' at the ICA, London earlier this year