Jon Hopkins’ new album, Singularity, his first since 2013’s Immunity, was released in May 2018 on Domino Records.
Singularity begins and ends on the same note: a universe beginning, expanding, and contracting towards the same infinitesimal point. Where Immunity – his hypnotic breakthrough LP – charted the dark alternative reality of an epic night out, Singularity explores the dissonance between dystopian urbanity and the green forest. It is a journey that returns to where it began – from the opening note of foreboding to the final sound of acceptance.
Shaped by his experiences with meditation and trance states, the album flows seamlessly from rugged techno to transcendent choral music, from solo acoustic piano to psychedelic ambient. Its epic musical palette is visceral and emotionally honest: with a destructive opener full of industrial electronics and sonic claustrophobia and a redemptive, pure end on solo piano, this album reflects the psychological states Hopkins lived through during the writing process.
Exploring the connectivity of the mind, sonics and the natural world, Singularity is intended to be listened to in one sitting, as a complete body of work.
When you’re talking about Kobosil today, you’ll need to talk about life goals: to become an artist, to be an artist. Max Kobosil, born in 1991, grew up in Berlin in post-Wende times of structural change, he discovered Techno when it emerged from sub culture into modernity, from an early stage he was determined to contribute his share to the city and genre as well as coining both.
The initiation for everything that followed was marked by his first visit to Berghain. “At around 17 I was already spinning House and Techno and had heard one or two things about the club. When I turned 18 I went for the first time, after three hours of queuing up I finally got in. I realized very quickly: ‘That’s quite something – this club and the people inside make the difference. I’d like to be an artist here, not just a regular visitor.’ Eventually I met nd_baumecker and some other staff members and despite the age gap we were on the same wavelength immediately.“
The mutual understanding quickly led to his first releases: In 2013 Kobosil’s remix of Barker & Baumecker’s ‘Silo’ was published on Ostgut Ton, the same year saw Kobosil’s 12″ debut on his own RK label as well as his EP on Unterton. With those records Kobosil not only left his mark in Berlin, but also built up a reputation outside of the city and country limits with his gusto for subtly hypnotic synth sounds, noise, ambient and especially the darker, more powerful variant form of Techno. Furthermore he proved himself as a versatile DJ since his Klubnacht debut in August 2013, skillfully combining new Techno records with genre classics, some acid, indie and industrial tracks, while adding pressure to his expressive and emotive sets at the same time.
Since day one Kobosil’s focus has been the balance between playing records and producing. “DJing very much lives in the here and now. With just one night you can define your own future, but a dj set comes to a halt at the end of the night. In contrast, the production side represents your own legacy. History has proven over and over that music needn’t have been a commercial success at the time of its release in order to grow as a cult record over the years. I see it as an artistic challenge to create something that can stand the test of time.“
The Neukölln resident has emphasised this aspiration in the past two years, be it with his club, ambient and live sets, with releases on Marcel Dettmann Records and his very own RK imprint, and via his recent, critically acclaimed remix of Terence Fixmer’s ‘Aktion Mekanik Theme’ on Ostgut Ton – all this exceeding his own visions. His 91 EP (Ostgut Ton, 2015) once again proved his sense for functional techno with depth and drive as does his latest release, the EP 105 (Ostgut Ton, July 2017); while his debut album We Grow, You Decline (out since early 2016) extended his artistic range with all new moods and tones, ease and melodious sounds, without abandoning his familiar darkness. “I want next generations to perceive my album as music – not as techno music.“ It remains to be seen if Kobosil will meet his self-defined goals. His artistic signature and attitude is already distinctive.
25-year-old Mall Grab is breaking all kinds of moulds on his rapid rise to recognition on the world stage. Working from the confines of his decidedly un-electronic hometown of Newcastle, NSW, he is a clear example of the connective power of the Internet. Proof that the web does have the ability get real talent noticed.
His sound has been described as ‘mildly celestial “hella stoned” introspections that pay homage to old Three 6 Mafia mixtapes as much as more recent astral experiences in house and techno.’ Inverted Audio says that ‘Mall Grab has steadily grown into a surefire purveyor of his leg-stretching, house and techno that manages to reach thousands of fans worldwide.’ With support from artists like George Fitzgerald and Four Tet, it seems like the best is still yet to come.