September 17, 2014

JON HOPKINS

JonHopkins_PhotoBySteveGullick_1
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GETTING IMMUNITY

Jon Hopkins, it seems, has a mental block about DJing. “I don’t actually do that,”claims Hopkins. But when the British pianist/producer is reminded that, in fact, it is what he does for arenas full of expectant fans at Coldplay shows, he admits, “I forget about that.”
Easy to do, considering that the formally trained musician’s ventures are mainly confined to the studio, like when he’s creating his own albums—Immunity (Domino) being his latest. Or when he’s working on film scores—he’s been nominated for an Ivor Novello Award (Britain’s honor for songwriting and composition). Or when he’s recording with other U.K. talents like King Creosote, David Holmes, Brian Eno, and yes, Coldplay. “DJing is such a skill,” he says. “When I see it done properly, I think, ‘I don’t even try to approach that,’ so I don’t call myself one professionally.

Still, for gear, I use a Hercules DJ Console Rmx controller and Virtual DJ [software]. I’m not a record collector, so I don’t search for music. I have to plan it in advance.” And when he’s opening for Coldplay, for example, he fully realizes that the band’s fans aren’t there for him.
“Coldplay has a broad audience,”he says. “They might not be listening to me, but they’re feeling it. It’s a builder of tension, so I play melodic, accessible, dance-y stuff to increase the tension: Luke Abbott, Todd Terje, Four Tet, Gold Panda, Apparat, Moderat— things like that.” With its strong, trackbased energ y, Immu n i t y would easily fit into…

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