Scan Hopper writes, performs, and produces some of the most disquieting, yet profoundly hypnotic songs ever recorded. The vocals are soft and delicate; often breaking into harmonies more consistent with the 60’s folk era. Yet the music covers 70’s Psychedelic territory with sprinkles of the more recent shoegaze influences just creeping in. If you took songs from the 1967 musical “Hair” and did a mash-up with music by The Byrds and Spacemen 3 you’d come closer to understanding Scan Hopper’s intricate sound mix.
However, this in no way detracts from the recordings; in fact, it often enhances them, by imparting an otherworldly quality to their music. It would be enough that Scott Hopkins has the talent to write and perform his pop concoctions, but he also has the added talent of being creatively indulgent in his home studio.
Although the “Scan Hopper 2” album can be described as a DIY project, it is a richly produced and a sonically complex body of work. Listen with wonder, to “Living In Sane/Travelogue” where Scott overlays a beautiful melody and gently sung vocals with diverse elements such as pianos, white noise, wah-wah guitar sounds, banging drums and clashing cymbals. It may seem like cluttered hodgepodge, but in truth it is an astonishingly disciplined song. As is “N%”, a powerful, driving instrumental arrangement, that would make a perfect movie score for a Mission Impossible movie. Listening to the diversity of the tracks you only get some idea of the multiple essences that make up the Scan Hopper sound.
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Scott Hopkins together with guitarist Brian Purington, drummer Ryan Nelson, bassist David Thomas Jones, and Rachel Shaw who adds vocals, keyboards, violin and percussion, veers between a myriad of styles and who-knows-what more in “Scan Hopper2”. In the middle of it all Scott crafts a sonic extravaganza of ‘timeless’ sounds, strange and surreal and enticingly abstract.
“Scan Hopper2″ includes some of Scott’s best collaborative work yet, while the production and mixes on the album are rich and laden, intense and boisterous, and perhaps the best overall indicator of everything he was capable of, at the time of recording. It contains 12 tracks to be played at maximum volume, from which it is best to dig out your own personal highlights. Mine are without any doubt, “Sans Angelo”, “N%” and “Cuest(In Cerebral Bookends)”.
Is this the music of the future, or music of the past? I’m not sure, as you get the continued sensation that Scott Hopkins is not only creating and playing music, but playing with the very experiences, of recording music. However, his doesn’t seem to be about puerile showmanship or technique for its own sake, as “Scan Hopper 2” is ultimately the consequential expression of an inquisitive and creative soul. A rare breed in today’s music.
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