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Jon Hopkins Insides

It’s not often that someone who has collaborated with Coldplay graces the pages of XLR8R, but it helps that U.K. producer Jon Hopkins’ introduction to Chris Martin and Co. came via Brian Eno, who became a fan after hearing the cinematic sounds of Hopkins’ 2004 album Contact Note. Insides is his third album, and it’s a stunning effort that invigorates so-called downtempo music with crunchy electronic undertones. Melodic numbers like “Vessel” and “Wire” truly soar, yet retain some real teeth with beats that recall Aphex Twin’s tougher offerings. The title track is basically techy dubstep, while “Colour Eye” is a scratchy and distorted IDM workout that gives way to the serenely swirling synths of “Light Through the Veins.”

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