Matt Cutler, “Lone”, is a producer from Nottingham England who draws major inspiration from Madlib, Boards of Canada, and Bibio. He is one of the lead artists on R&S Records, a progressive Berlin-based label that features eclectic and forward-thinking musicians such as Tessela and Paul White.
Galaxy Garden is an outstanding album. I can only think of one album similar in concept and structure to Galaxy Garden – Hudson Mohawke’s 2009 album Butter. Both draw heavily on the themes of nostalgia and childhood, using catchy, repetitive synth melodies that invoke 90’s video game sound tracks – see track titles such as “Crystal Caverns 1991” and “As a Child”. Both albums are imbued with a certain summery, upbeat vibe that shines through the album like sunshine through the leaves of a palm tree.
The difference between the two is attitude – Hudson Mohawke is decidedly fidgety and manic as he jumps quickly across tempo and style, jamming themes within themes to craft a dizzying patchwork of sounds that threatens to explode from internal pressure. Lone on the other hand is always in control – he creates smooth, dreamy landscapes from foreign-yet-natural chord progressions, perfectly blended and timed vocals, and tempo-consistent drumwork.
Hudson Mohawke is silly and delirious in his excitement and happiness. Lone weaves his upbeat energy into more subtle and dance-able tracks. These contrasting attitudes were sharpened in subsequent stylistic explorations. HudMo began producing some gut-wrenching trap music with Lunice as TNGHT while Lone paid homage to his more down-tempo, hip-hop, jazzy, skate-culture soaked roots in latest album Reality Testing – which is also an excellent album, just not one suited for the dance floor.
So what’s next for Lone? In his own words: “With ‘Galaxy Garden’, I got obsessed with wanting everything to be super bright and artificial and ravey, and as colourful and synthetic as I could possibly make it,” he explains over a cup of coffee, “And, as with every project I do, I get obsessed with it – and then just get bored with it…I’d love to put out something that’s completely beatless, like an ambient record. But it’d have to be beautiful to capture people’s attention. I wouldn’t want to put out, like, a double album, or anything like that. It might not work, but I’m definitely into the idea.”
Lone is one gifted musician – I’m looking forward to whatever he decides to put out next.
01 | New Colour
02 | The Animal Pattern
03 | As a Child (ft. Machinedrum)
04 | Lying in the Reeds
05 | Dragon Blue Eyes
06 | Crystal Caverns 1991
07 | Raindance
08 | Dream Girl/Sky Surfer
09 | Earth’s Lungs
10 | Cthulu (ft. Machinedrum)
11 | Stands Tidal Waves
12 | Spirals (ft. Anneka)