Jon Hopkins is a British electronica artist and, as far as I can tell, is in no way associated with the American medical institution. Besides, that's really "Johns Hopkins", since presumably more than one John Hopkins was involved in the school at its beginning. But I digress. The Mr. Hopkins in question has just released an online only EP consisting of three lovely ambient tracks. Let me examine each.
Fairytale is built out of layers of keyboardy type sounds. It is like a beatless Boards of Canada tune, or some of the more ambient work of Aphex Twin. It is a lovely quiet piece.
Song One adds a nice head bopping beat to the mix, and here the keyboards are more mournful sounding than they were earlier. It's a nice mix, and I think that this is the standout track of the three.
The End is a light piano piece with minimal electro noises in the background. Mostly it just sounds like Mr. Hopkins at a nice big piano, and actually he's pretty good at it. I think that this is the one song on this EP that my mother would enjoy...
Overall, this is an impressive 15 minutes worth of listening. Mr. Hopkins has some obvious talent, and although his music isn't the most original in the world (he breaks no new boundaries here), he still manages to make three pleasant songs that make for good listening. If you like this type of electronica, then I urge you to go and download this.
Speaking of downloading, Just Music is trying to make a go of selling online releases. This EP is available for download at the Just Music online store. Each song cost £.99, but all three together are £2.79, which saves you a bit. In my opinion, Song One is definitely worth the price, and the getting the other two thrown in as well makes it a bargain.
One comment though. I haven't paid for any downloads yet (the concept of paying for something I can't hold in my hands bothers me on some subconscious level), but I keep hearing how 0.99 is the standard price regardless of currency. Now, £.99 is a bit more than US$.99, which is more than CAN$.99. I wonder how that works out? If 0.99 is the price, regardless of the currency attached to it, then it is worth your while to try and download things from Canada... I just wonder how all of that is going to work? I mean -- it's a download, right? Why is downloading from the UK more expensive than downloading from the US? Oh well, I am sure that these business issues will get sorted out eventually.
Overall, and returning to the fact that this is a music review, I must say that Mr. Hopkins has made a lovely little EP, and I hope to hear more from him in the future.