In Part 2 of our neverending bedroom producers special, we take a look at the artiste known as Lone, aka Matt Cutler. Also young, also British, and also a crate digger – but unlike the Panda’s obscure sample hunting habits, Lone and his record collection are positively ruled by a preoccupation for all things…what was that word again… ‘classic’.
More specifically, we’re talking early ‘90’s UK rave/hardcore, Chicago house and Detroit techno: the very influences and ingredients of which he has unashamedly fused and assimilated into his compositions.
With many a review describing his earlier output in the same breath as anything from Boards of Canada to 808 State to Fabio & Grooverider; it comes as little surprise that his first EP of 2011, Echolocations, sees release by R & S Records. The Belgian label, once home to the glorious pumping MDMA-ed genius of Joey Beltram and one Aphex Twin et al., is now revamping its stable to include, alongside Lone, the precocious talents of Blawan, Untold, Space Dimension Controller and that James Blake.
However, it is unlikely that Lone was after intentional tribute to R & S – he has stated that these tracks were produced at the same time as Emerald Fantasy Tracks (album released in November 2010) – but Echolocations nonetheless honours the label’s legacy with a deft concoction of colourful dance energy and fantastical melodies.
These signature juxtapositions of Lone’s continue to be fleshed out by warm arpeggios and synthlines, but they now punch the air above vividly jacking house beats and percussion – a motif perfectly exemplified by ‘Approaching Rainbow’. As possibly the most obvious case of reminiscence here, it is also a highly melancholic number. In a recent interview with ClashMusic, Lone pointed out that in Echolocations, “there’s a bit of sadness to it all... It could be that a lot of it dwells on the past, and there’s always something sad about the past, in that it’s gone. You’ll never get it back.”
The next tune, however, brazenly pulls the listener out of such maudling depths and takes you on a rainbow to the greener grass on the other side. ‘Rapid Racer’s surging ‘ardkore pads echoes and extols the pure ecstasy (pun intended) of rave, even conjuring up visions of writhing dancers sporting big hair and bad glo-sticks… You know the score!
These standouts aside, it is still difficult to ignore the feeling that Echolocations sounds like a second-hand selection from Emerald Fantasy Tracks. As it is, some of the latter LP’s kaleidoscopic qualities seem to have been sacrificed for a more upfront technical workout here, rendering the 'Echo' rather flat in comparison to the gloss of its predecessor.
Consider, however, that this could very well be a statement of intent from Lone. Perhaps he now recognises his brand of dance music as guilty of providing listeners with false hope: its radiant crescendos and climaxes, in truth directing dancers in mock performance of the narrative of success… Ok, sorry.
01. Coreshine Voodoo
04. Approaching Rainbow
05. Blossom Quarter
06. Rapid Racer
Stream in full: http://soundcloud.com/gammaray/sets/lone-echolocations