Asleep Versions adds another dimension to the continuum of work created by Jon Hopkins, a celebrated creator and producer of textured electronic music. Rather than coating his discography in an entirely new shade, Hopkins’ intent was to re-interpret some of the tracks from his last album Immunity; re-calibrating four tracks with an ambient sound. Asleep Versions is a release that focuses on a meditative state, the calm that exists between rest and sleep, and moreover, the calm that lies between sleep and the oh-so-elusive dream.

The four-track EP is fashioned by a keen eye for detail, bringing into question the sentiment that the devil is in the details; perhaps there is nothing to fear – only admire. The reworked version of ‘Immunity’ is coloured with the serene voice of King Creosote amidst scattered percussion samples and demure piano chords. There is a sweeping sensation that takes place during the track, as if the night is blowing in with each key change, leading your imagination to nowhere else but the stars.

Created in Iceland, there is something distinctly cold and intrepid about the way each track follows on from the one before. It’s as if the similarities between night and winter were felt during its creation, seeping into how it is experienced. The glitchy synth and discrete sound bites of train tracks in this album’s version of ‘Breathe This Air’ are not hopeful but rather contemplative. Strong bass drops and slight variance in tonal consistency contribute to the feeling that this piece is meant to induce reflection.

‘Form By Firelight’ and ‘Open Eye Signal’ are obviously resonant of the same coin, illustrating a deliberately ambient theme to this EP. The tracks are so meticulously re-worked that they could easily be mistaken for fresh meat rather than re-imagined versions of his original tracks. With this EP Hopkins pays homage to the original version of these tracks, yet also deviates quite spectacularly from them. Asleep Versions in many ways is 25 minutes of tranquil alteration in tone, yet also characterized by the patterns it follows. For instance, it’s as if he is attempting to even the score between major and minor chords during eleven minutes of ‘Open Eye Signal’, formulaically batting them off against each other.

It is chilling without the controversy of being disturbed. It leads you through the more murky and sentimental parts of meditation. Following a windy path where the experience is surreal and is met with the same sincerity as anything that reality can conjure up. For lack of a better word, the emotion that is evoked during this EP is verging on spiritual.

7.5/10

 

Asleep Versions was released on November 7th via Domino Records.