My first exposure to Lone was the refreshing and delightful (if slightly half-baked) Emerald Fantasy Tracks from 2010. Like so many of my electronic albums, I have absolutely no idea how I stumbled upon it. I’m so glad I did. Galaxy Garden, his follow up collaboration with Machinedrum, made it into my top 20 favorite albums of all time. I’ve been a devoted fan ever since.
My timing couldn’t have been better: Galaxy Garden saw Lone (aka Matt Cutler) turn the corner from aspiring producer to a legit threat. (Hello, Disclosure remix.) He’s on his motherfucking game now. (And he’s all over my 2016 electronic soul Tempo Beach mixtape series.)
I just downloaded his latest release from the mighty R&S Records, a collection of four EPs inspired by early ’90s atmospheric house. All four are available on Bandcamp, and as of this writing, the old school tracks that inspired the project can be found at his home page.
- Lone – Ambivert Tools Volume One
- Lone – Ambivert Tools Volume Two
- Lone – Ambivert Tools Volume Three
- Lone – Ambivert Tools Volume Four
I absolutely can’t recommend these EPs enough.
Blue Moon Tree in particular, from Volume Four, is easily one of the most gorgeous electronic songs I’ve heard in the last decade. Simultaneously familiar and mysterious, it’s evocative of the synth-drenched house tunes Atlanta producer Chris Braan was kicking out in the early aughts. (This track, in particular, jumps immediately to mind.) Other standouts for me are Hyper Seconds and Temples, both from Volume Three.
Lone is one of those rare electronic producers who somehow makes lush organic soundscapes with the least organic instruments possible. It’s springtime, it’s just rained, and everything smells like sex. How anyone manages to do this is absolutely beyond me, so when it happens I take notice. (Other good examples of this are Orbital’s 1993 eponymous release, LTJ Bukem’s Earth series, and Pomo’s breathtaking debut.)
This is absolutely Lone’s prime. We’d be idiots to miss it.