- Matt Cutler's music is a dense mosaic of styles. Backpacker hip-hop, Boards Of Canada-style IDM and old rave music courses through his work, though his tracks, coated in radiant colours and textures, are instantly recognisable as his own. Cutler's DJ-Kicks mix is a revealing look into how those sounds come together. Charting his musical upbringing and evolution, the mix is not so much a DJ set as a musical autobiography, a treat for Lone fans and captivating enough to please casual listeners as well.
With ravey albums like Levitate and the recent house-oriented Ambivert Tools series, it's easy to overlook Cutler's hip-hop roots. "Cali Drought," a highlight from his 2008 debut album, Lemurian, features here alongside a swath of other contemporary examples. You can hear the blueprint for Lone's sound with Hudson Mohawke and Mike Slott's "Spotted" (as Heralds Of Change). There's vintage indie rap from Def Jux's Camu Tao and the Madlib-associated Lootpack, while a Boards Of Canada cut from 1998, "Orange Romeda," splits the difference between Cutler's hip-hop and his psychedelic electronica.
Cutler mixes these hip-hop tracks in a leisurely way, as you might with a few friends in your living room after a party. Even when he gets into techno, the approach stays the same: adventurous but not flashy, cruising through tracks old (John Beltran's "Placid Angles") and new (E. Myers's "Untitled (Main Mix)"), as well as a few of his own cuts. The second half of the mix reflects the sound of Cutler's Magicwire label, somewhere between chunky lo-fi house and gleaming renderings of his own work. Lone's "Saturday Night (Hippy)," a laidback and dreamy house tune, melts into the rougher, bumpier contours of Ross From Friends' "The Outsiders," a spectrum of sounds and textures we don't usually hear from Lone.
The mix ends on an odd pivot into Drexciyan electro, lush IDM from Balil and "Worrywort" from Radiohead, a band Cutler has remixed in the past. It's a dreamy finish to a mix that stays low-key all the way through—even the Drexciya track, though jarring at first, feels restrained in the context of the mix. Cutler's ambling pace and retro outlook calls to mind Seth Troxler's DJ-Kicks, but where that was basically a run through classic house records, Cutler's is more of a private diary entry. Unlike his productions, it's not a seamless weave of trends, genres and ideas. Instead, DJ-Kicks lays out each of his influences piece by piece, almost like listening to a deconstructed Lone album. For fans of Cutler's singular music, it's an essential entry in his discography.
01. Casino Versus Japan - Go Hawaii
02. Heralds Of Change - Spotted
03. Lone - Brooklyn Banks
04. Camu Tao - Hold The Floor
05. Lootpack - Hityawitdat
06. Lone - Cali Drought
07. Lone - Alpha Wheel 4 (Ambient Mix)
08. Boards Of Canada - Orange Romeda
09. Gnork - U
10. Nostalgic - Placid Angles
11. Lone - Arc
12. E. Myers - Untitled (Main Mix)
13. Protect-u - Double Rainbow
14. Lone - Saturday Night (DJ-Kicks)
15. Ross From Friends - The Outsiders
16. Drexciya - Bubble Metropolis
17. Balil - Choke and Fly
18. Radiohead - Worrywort