Lone - Galaxy Garden
Released: 7 May 2012
Arctic Top Track: Dragon Blue Eyes
Review by: Rich Pickings - 17th May 2012
In the olden days – before iPhones n' shit – some hack would probably have written about Galaxy Garden in terms of it being Matt Cutler's “Career defining moment”. Being a professional musician has all the financial attractiveness of working at Greggs unless your top 10 (Baby), so the notion of making a living from your art is far fetched in the extreme. Perhaps a better way to describe this release might be as potentially a right turn out of obscurity, and a damn interesting one at that.
The Cutler/Lone sound of recent years has all been about sludgy loops, blunted hip hop and chattering legacy emulation, but now we're happy to say he's nailed a new signature approach; right from the first keenly bouncing notes of opener New Colour, this is a man who has heard the post dubstep sound and headed voluntarily in the opposite direction. Yay.
That's not to say he's thrown the 303 out with the ring modulator. The process here has been much more about evolution than revolution. At his previous best – on the shimmering pitch of 2009's Lemurian - there was still plenty of warmth and space to the more floor centric passages, the feeling being less darkened club than sunlit terrace, and although the tempo is markedly upped here as on the free wheeling As A Child, there are also flecks of Toro Y Moi-esque chillwave accessibility to draw the foot shy in.
Now being released by the fully rejuvenated R&S imprint, old skoolers will revel in much of the reminder of a blinder nostalgia being evoked. As the cyber tropical notes of Raindance fade you can almost hear the crowd doing one more tune and gurning ecstatically to themselves, whilst Crystal Caverns 1991 propels itself forward via a part hyperextended house/part Altern-8 sub bass chimera that's pure Shelley's.
Whilst elements of rave's total anaesthesia have been threaded back into the mainstream for several years now, Vic, dust masks and Chipie are unlikely to undergo a full renaissance on anything other than Snub TV. It should also be remembered that it's aftermath belonged to the world of boring, stay at home spotters, a movement that found it's redemption via the Warp label's Artificial Intelligence series of releases. Cutler hasn't forgotten either, as the too brief but gorgeous Dragon Blue Eyes proves, joined in it's rudimentary Detroit ambience by the B12 soundalike Earth's Lungs.
Galaxy Garden explores few new spaces, but equally it's just the sound of an artist zoned in, aware of the limitations of the form but having the confidence to play it straight, happy and clean. The rebel spirit of the underground may have long left the neighbourhood and who knew that eventually getting on one would feel more like a guilty pleasure, but Matt Cutler now seems ready for the big league.