Jon Hopkins: Music for Psychedelic Therapy (Domino) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023  

Jon Hopkins

Music for Psychedelic Therapy


Nov 10, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Jon Hopkins’ music captures the beauty of the dawn and the vastness of the cosmos with pristine particularity. On his most recent albums, Immunity and Singularity, Hopkins combined his classical pianist sensibilities and ambient leanings with complex, warm techno beats to arrange some of the past decade’s most engaging electronic compositions. Now, on Music For Psychedelic Therapy, Hopkins has dropped the polyrhythmic beats in favor of natural minimalism, taking us away from the dancehall on a transcendent journey toward serenity.

In the album’s first half, Hopkins welcomes the listener into his memory with the three-part “Tayos Caves, Ecuador,” adorning rainforest sounds—rushing waterfalls, bird choruses—with bright, serene drones that twinkle and shimmer with joy and gratitude for the peaceful beauty of our world. The musical choices here are slight, almost non-existent, as the field recordings take center stage. One might argue the piece is hardly different from the 8-hour “Rainforest Sounds For Sleep” videos you play on restless nights. However, to do so would ignore the careful intention Hopkins pays to each moment of the suite’s composition, as well as the overwhelming peace it necessitates.

The album’s second half returns Hopkins to the sort of otherworldly splendor heard on songs like “Feel First Life” or “Abandon Window.” On “Deep in the Glowing Heart,” the album’s greatest triumph, a river of bass carries us through warm expanses as celestial chittering dances above our heads. This is followed by “Ascending, Dawn Sky,” a gorgeous piece where crackles of synth underlay Hopkins’ precise pinpricks of piano, ushering in a baptism of light over the horizon. Once again, Hopkins invites us to experience the meeting of heaven and earth and be transformed. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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