It’s listening to records like Singularity that you realise how profligately music writing sheds superlatives. Anything with a pleasant enough melody is credited with “serenity” and any song about overcoming adversity is branded “triumphant”. I’m culpable, of course, and I’m not condemning the practice. In track premiering and album promotion it’s an established part of the game. One aphorism that shoves its way to the front of the mind and shrieks for attention on listening to the new Jon Hopkins is the “Album album,” that which demands the listener to experience it front to back, opener to closer, uninterrupted and quarantined. I truly, effusively wish that “Album album” wasn’t such a cliché because I can’t raise a more salient descriptor for Singularity.

Having spoken to a handful of people about the record, some are fairly indifferent to it. Their basis is that there’s no meaningful progression from 2013’s Immunity, Hopkins’ previous record, and that it’s musically homogenous. There’s truth here; Singularity’s modular techno arpeggios and plaintive piano respites are nearly stylistically identical to Immunity, and there’s no surprising dissonance, but stylistic experimentation has never been Hopkins’ prerogative, rather that's conceptual curiosity.

Hopkins has delineated Immunity his MDMA album and Singularity his psychedelics album; the former’s label symptomatic of its incisiveness, its muscular momentum imitating the rave’s thrust and ethereal clarity; the latter’s label signifies its pursuit of transcendentalism, of grasping the unity between nature and human nature, measured in – to use another aphorism that simply fits – an emotional journey. Singularity isn’t emotional facilitation the way an Oscar tearjerker is though, it isn’t a provocateur, but a mirror, or a synchronicity, as if music and listener are latently attuned to the other’s impulses, and can pre-empt them. Never contrived, wholly intuitive.

From the frayed opening chords of the title track, Singularity simultaneously eases you in while aggregating power, cantering through ‘Emerald Rush’'s dirges and ‘Neon Pattern Drum'’s wilting synths. When the bass drops on ‘Everything Connected’, about twenty minutes into the record, it’s not only the track’s liberation, but the record’s absolute apex, the screaming rapture which the record’s been building towards, so cathartic that it’s fractionally returned from the precipice by ensuing tracks of unwinding piano, by the entirety of the remainder. ‘Luminous Beings’ is a protracted adrenaline shot, but Singularity never approaches the first half’s plunge or ‘Everything Connected’'s nudity again. It’s a guttural, revitalising new age cleanse, almost the compulsive release we’ve been building up to our whole lives. It’s clarity and calm in the madness, the soundtrack of spirituality and shrieking sweat without contradictions or complications, just sense.

There’s always been music which instils feelings of peace and equanimity, but I can’t remember music which has made me feel so calmly whole.

It’s not as prescriptive as unperturbed calm, which suggests the threat of intrusion, but more limitless calm, horizonless calm. It’s spherical calm, complete and self-sustaining, a concord between the instinct to rage and dance and the craving to retreat into impenetrable internality. It’s imparting a dialect of serenity that’s incomprehensible but impossibly healthful. You don’t know why you connect and heal but you don’t care. Your component parts, normally fragmented and disparate – your insecurities, your egocentrisms, your bouts of happiness, your bells of misery – coalesce in tandem with Hopkins’ streamlining basslines, an aural mapping of self. Lost among the swirling chorals and burning pads, you feel integrated, singular.

Singularity is equilibrium, the balance between purity and debauchery, ecstasy and despair, peace and chaos, manmade artifice and nature. It’s the extremities of purge and rehabilitation, parsed by compositional extremes. It’s the arc of the human condition stripped to the skeleton, condensed to an hour, then retraced by miasmic synths and gasping piano into a nebulous and uncanny restoration that’s beautiful and surgically sad. When Singularity happened, I felt that.