Jon Hopkins will release a new album in August.

By turns “devotional, empowering, and nurturing,” we’re told, RITUAL is a 41-minute single piece of music unfolding over eight chapters. It is a culmination of themes explored throughout Hopkins’ 22-year career, and acts as the “kinetic counterpart” to 2021’s Music For Psychedelic Therapy, an album made to accompany Hopkins’ guided psychedelic trips.

The album features long-term collaborators Vylana, 7RAYS, Ishq, Clark, Emma Smith, Daisy Vatalaro, and Cherif Hashizume, and it came together within the second half of 2023. Though initial seeds were sown in 2022, when Hopkins was commissioned to compose for Dreamachine, an immersive experience in London created by Collective Act, in collaboration with a team of artists, scientists, and philosophers.

Sonically, the release is both “emotionally and sonically heavy,” we’re told, whilst retaining a warm, live feel, “where the juxtaposition between softness and intensity forms the core of the whole.”

Ahead of the album, Hopkins made the following statement.

I have no idea what I’m doing when I’m composing. I don’t know where it’s coming from, and I don’t know where it’s going, nor does it seem to matter. I just know when it is finished. So all I can really do is feel my way to the end, then try and retrospectively analyze what might be going on, and try and figure out what its purpose is. What is clear is that this one has the structure of a Ritual. I know what that Ritual is for me, but it will be something different for you. It feels important not to be prescriptive about what this Ritual actually is.

It feels like a tool, maybe even a machine, for opening portals within your inner world, for unlocking things that are hidden and buried. Things that are held in place by the tension in your body. It doesn’t feel like ‘an album’ therefore—more a process to go through, something that works on you. At the same time, it feels like it tells a story. Maybe it’s the story of a process I’m going through, and one that we are all going through. Maybe it’s also the story of creation, destruction, and transcendence. Maybe it’s the story of the archetypal hero’s journey—the journey of forgetting and remembering.

Ultimately though, all I have to say about it is said by the sound.

RITUAL will be premiered in spatial audio at London’s ICA on May 12. Pre-ordering the album will give pre-sale access for tickets. A further listening event will take place at Glastonbury Festival on their “Ambient” stage.

Ahead of the album, Hopkins has shared a video for “part v – evocation,” directed by Dave Bullivant and starring aerial rope performer Bryony Louise Fowler.

The track is defined by deep, hypnotic drums and a long build to epiphanic light. It’s designed to give listeners “a window into the full experience.”

Tracklisting

01. part i – altar
02. part ii – palace / illusion
03. part iii – transcend / lament
04. part iv – the veil
05. part v – evocation
06. part vi – solar goddess return
07. part vii – dissolution
08. part viii – nothing is lost

RITUAL LP is scheduled for August 30 release on Domino. Meanwhile, you can stream “part v – evocation” in full below and pre-order here.

Photo: Imogene Barron





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