So Jon Hopkins is a London based Electronic/Ambient piano player, prior to this release he did some work as a Producer, which was after his first 2 Ambient based albums which were met with mixed reviews, but many including myself noting the atmosphere he creates.
Insides is his third effort, changing his Ambient based sound, to a deeper, Glitch sound. 'The Wider Sun' is the opener that starts with strings as the sound escalates and creates a Shoegazy feel, before entering track two of the album, this track is the beginning to Hopkin's new and improved sound.
'Vessel', starts of very atmospheric and Ambient, before the piano arpeggio kicks in and lays the base for the track. Then the hard hitting beats enter with great Glitch like features. The atmospherical noises enter and leave at different points, but create a nice sound scape.
The title track, 'Insides', is the most Electronic. It's a Glitch track everything is separated different snares and hi hats come in to focus during the opening, trickling piano arpeggio's are lo-fi, but stand strong. The song builds up before dropping in to a Synth Arpeggio version of the opening. The final third of this song is almost horrifying, it's so strong and in your face that the driving beat creates a nice blend of a scary atmosphere and a beautiful string arrangement.
'Wire', is another track like Vessel, it's a happier, increased tempo track. The key being the atmosphere he has laid down for us. He would be like every other Electronic artists without his piano skills and his Ambient Musique Concrete talent. This song has a small build up, which is predictable, then the following beat and progression follow a nice relaxing style, the synth and strings in the background show forward with venom showing the difference between the two compositions, the Ambient and the Electronic.
Some tracks have a bigger eerie feel, such as 'Colour Eye'. This track is a deep Glitch track with a focus on Dark Ambient. Briano Eno like sound scape's come into focus, with his delicate piano playing being reverbed. A strong driving bass runs through the core of this track. It's over fast, the beat isn't really in place or a time frame, it's all mashed together a little to vaguely. It sounds a little messy, but the eerie feel keeps you in place.
'Light Through The Veins', you may recognize from a certain 2008 album. Hopkins skill comes in to light here. A brilliant composition and build up met with a aching piano finish. At over 9 minutes, you cant remember where all the minutes went, it isn't repetitive, it's a slow, but strong build up. The atmosphere and Shoegaze like sounds come through tills the 7 minute mark, where Jon's piano playing comes in to action. The beautiful sound he creates here is wonderful, one of the best compositions I've heard in a long time.
Most of the later tracks are more Ambient driven, following a basic arpeggio, turning them into light percussion based atmospheric tracks. Tracks such as 'A Drifting Up' re visit his earlier career, just with more attention to detail.
'Autumn Hill' is a piano track. This composition can be passed as a Classical recording. The lo-fi production of the piano and the light strings follow a sweet melancholy rhythm. This track is the most relaxing, it isn't in your face and it doesn't have a tendency to create a Shoegaze atmosphere, it's a light piano track, a great end to a fantastic album.