- Last year's Galaxy Garden LP cemented Matt Cutler's transition, broadly speaking, from hip-hop to house. But while his rhythmic framework may have changed, his aesthetic remained instantly recognisable. This was mainly due to the ever-present super-saccharine chord work, a sound that has led some to describe Cutler as a maximalist Boards Of Canada. In a dance floor setting, though, the effect was more of a rave-nostalgia overload, equal parts gaudy and poignant.
Airglow Fires is the first new Lone material since that record. The title track is, of course, familiar—those vaporous rave chords and twinkling melodies could hardly be anyone else. But while Cutler has often seemed to prioritise melody over groove, here he settles on a robust, full-bodied swing that's hugely appealing. When they hit, the jazz-inflected chords invite comparisons to Floating Points' "Marilyn"—there's a similar sense of soul-overload—but Cutler's version is more overblown, and more unashamedly plastic. "Begin To Begin" is more understated but equally luxurious. The centrepiece is an intricate melody that meanders up and down the scale, its erratic contours sometimes aped by the bassline. Cutler's template here seems to be the soulful keyboard noodling often found in New York house, but it's taken to a gloriously impractical extreme.
01. Airglow Fires
02. Begin to Begin