Back in 2001, (the year of Opalescent’s original release) the process of creating the album was a joyful one. At the age of 20 Jon had just signed to Just Music, so we bought him a PC and with a hotchpotch of software and some basic equipment, he set to work. His only assistance came from friend and regular collaborator, (another Just Music alumni) Leo Abrahams, who plays Opalescent’s sparkling, plangent guitars.

It was a record which, in numerous, enthusiastic reviews, was filed in the then burgeoning “chill-out” genre. But Jon had no interest in making relaxing or therapeutic music, which may help explain why Opalescent still sounds so distinctive, musically and emotionally complex. It was never meant to be enjoyed passively. It is in the contradictions between beauty and bass, gentleness and volume, ecstasy and elegy, that Opalescent derives its enduring otherness. Even 15 years on, it is never quite what you think it is.

Jon Hopkins | Opalescent | CD

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