The Late Night Tales series has returned, this time with the master of synth and widescreen music production himself taking the reigns. With previous curators including Groove Armada, Belle & Sebastian and Four Tet, it was always going to be interesting to see what Jon Hopkins would dig out of his crate and put down for our own audio pleasure.
In true Hopkins style, he's taken this opportunity to produce a perfectly constructed collection of tracks that cleverly and elegantly narrate a dreamy, hypnotic state - that surreal part of the night where it's too late to go to bed but too early to be up and do anything. That half-sleep state where reality and dreams blend into one.
The collection of tracks provide an insight into the workings of Hopkins's mind and allows rare and interesting access into the workings behind the producer's inspirations and some kind of hint of what gets him excited. As Nil Frahm's 'More' merges seamlessly into 'I Am Daylights' by Songs Of Green Pheasant, there is one feature that really shines through, and that is the care that Hopkins has taken in putting these tracks together.
It's a real labour of love where every track has not only been meticulously thought about and placed, but it's clear that Hopkins has thought tirelessly about how it fits into the wider picture of the collection as a whole.
What's even more impressive is the natural and free manner in which the tracks flit between moods. Whether it's the dance club atmosphere of Letherette or the folky voice of Alela Daine, nothing feels out of place, assisted by Hopkins' own compositions that link the tracks together. As ever, this 'Late Night Tales' also works as an opportunity for a well-known artist to champion other artists, and Hopkins does not disappoint, creating a delightful palette of sonic sounds to choose from.
In true 'Late Night Tales' fashion, the collection ends with a spoken word piece. Rick Holland, a fellow Brian Eno collaborator, takes the limelight with 'I Remember'. His poetry and hypnotic, meditative delivery bring the whole thing to perfect closure, and with Hopkins' own composition underpinning the whole thing, you are able to truly slip away with the closure, safe in the reassurance that some strange dreams will be coming your way.
Words: Amelia Maher
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