Like many people, I was first introduced to the music of Jon Hopkins when he opened for Coldplay in 2008. I wasn't immediately struck by his music - indeed, it took his last album Insides the guts of a year to win me over completely - but I was enthralled by his dazzling and disconcerting live show. He confused as many people in the crowd as he captivated, I have no doubt; 4-and-a-half years on from that first encounter, I see that that opening slot acted as a gateway into a style of music which was completely foreign to me at that time, straddling the genres of electronic and ambient music - not quite one, and not quite the other. The long-awaited follow-up to Insides definitely falls down on the electronic side of that divide. Hopkins's distinctive beats have much more of a presence than before, and while his music has never been found wanting when it comes to immediacy, his latest solo venture is his most direct offering yet.

Kicking off with the 4/4 thump and buzzing synth lines of 'We Disappear', it becomes apparent that his new material is more dancefloor-friendly than what's come before. At least to some extent; lead single 'Open Eye Signal' pulses and hums with a desire to move, one which bubbles beneath the surface until it seems ready to collapse in on itself - and so it does, dissolving into skittering rhythms and muted bass throbs, but not before it's used the preceding 6 minutes to swell toward one of the record's many high points. This album is as much about ebb and flow as Hopkins's previous work; notice the way 'Breathe This Air' starts as a potential aural assault, before falling away and beginning a gradual build toward an intensely beautiful section in which Hopkins's sparse piano work and barely-there choral input offer up a moment of serious catharsis. The lows matter just as much as the highs; tracing the arc of a night out, it peaks with Hopkins's first foray into straight-up techno, 'Collider', after which things enter a more reflective period, one in which he once again enlists the help of Kenny Anderson, better known as King Creosote (with whom he collaborated on 2011's Diamond Mine).

As is his way, however, Hopkins does this in an unusual manner, with Anderson's vocals used as yet another instrument on the closing, title track, the creaking and groaning of chairs skilfully manipulated to form the beating heart of a song which also features a deceptively simple piano line and a sense of minimalism that has more in common with his earlier work. 'Immunity' itself is the calm after the storm, its throbbing 12-minute predecessor 'Sun Harmonics' effortlessly transitioning into a serene coda after it reaches its peak, the defining moment on an album which opens up new worlds for its creator. Hopkins has delivered what is undoubtedly his best album to date. Its more beat-driven approach may scare off the purists, but even in its maximalist moments, there is the fragile beauty and tenderness he has become known for. Hopkins has paved his own path for years, and now, immune to trends and shifting winds, has made his most impressive statement yet.