Updated: Feb 16
British producer and electronic music heavyweight Jon Hopkins’ latest single, Luminous Spaces provides a perfect epilogue for his Grammy-nominated 2018 masterpiece album Singularity. Combining Hopkins’ signature transcendent, other-worldy and immense sound with a euphoric mood that takes listeners to a dance floor in an unknown universe where everything is going to be just fine.
Originally intended to be a Kelly Lee Owens remix of Luminous Beings off of the Singularity album, Hopkins announced upon its release that he quickly decided that the project had enough in it to be a standalone collaboration between the two London-based artists.
Luminous Spaces is the “sister track” to the song Luminous Beings off of the 2018 album and carries on the curious and alien - yet touching and fun vibe of the original.
Hopkins’ more recent projects indicate strong links to the other-worldly and outer space (which his album and single artworks indicate strongly), taking listeners on a trip outside earth and into the vastness of The Great Unknown (Yes, I will be using this theme unashamedly in my take on the track).
Whereas Luminous Beings feels like a visit to an alien planet - with the erratic and sporadic synth notes imitating the vocalisations of extra-terrestrial beings - Luminous Spaces seems to reconnect humanity into the transcendental vibe, bringing us to a place still beautiful and vast yet vaguely familiar, comforting and human
The introduction to the track provides a spacious, uplifting and calm atmosphere, with Kelly Lee Owens’ angelic vocal lines floating through among the light and optimistic melody. It’s easy to get lost in this first part of the track alone, and it could easily have stood as a soothingly joyful, ambient track in its own right.
However, a soft kick and ever-distorting bass-synth-line indicate the track is building to something bigger, and the main dance section of the track is up there with Hopkins’ best ever work in dance music.
What we are treated to is an unobtrusive yet extremely powerful dance track, with a commanding and intense heavy bass-kick combination dropping into the divine mix. It’s almost unexpected how potent the bass is, with the intoxicating, pounding kick hitting directly to one’s core; something Hopkins has become known for at his live shows and DJ sets. The mix continues to change, breathe, grow and expand as the track progresses, ascending higher and higher.
The melody pitches up and transports us further into the other dimension, an ever-increasing crescendo flying into the ninth cloud of a place far, far away. More overtly euphoric and more human than its sister track, Luminous Spaces feels like a techno party in the heavens, combining all the scattered pieces and flavours from Luminous Beings into one cohesive and extraordinary party tune.
The Singularity album takes you on a trip from earth into the Great Unknown of space. Luminous Beings - off the same record - feels like an exploration of an alien world.
Luminous Spaces keeps you in that space, but Owens’ vocals and the tighter, more cohesive structure of the production remind you of home, as you stumble upon a party in this other-worldly place. Don’t worry, the aliens are friendly.
It would make the perfect closing song of the last set at a great festival, and in 2019 Jon Hopkins continues to show why he is such a force to be reckoned with in the electronic dance music scene.