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Lone Reality Testing

There’s a section right at the end of Lone’s standalone and stand-out single of last year, ‘Airglow Fires’, where the Detroit-via-Heaven rave stabs gently filter into some seemingly unrelated Brainfeeder-esque hip hop shimmers. At the time of its release it seemed like little more than a wholly pleasant throwaway appendage to the bright lights of the bulk of the track, but with the beauty of hindsight – and, more importantly, a listen through of his new album Reality Testing – ‘Airglow Fires’ served as a crystal gazing insight into the composition of Matt Cutler’s fifth full-length outing.

There has always been a graceful poise to Cutler’s work, so it should serve as no surprise that having set out to craft a record that balanced house and hip hop he’s managed to sidestep any potential crudeness or confusion, binding the two distinct aesthetics into one cohesive and typically blissful whole. There’s a fairly even split between the pulse-driven Chicago-influenced house efforts and the soft, twinkling instrumental beats, with a rough ‘one off, one on’ pattern emerging over the course of the record. It’s testament to the skill and wide-eyed solar reflections with which Lone has washed each potentially disparate track that each slips effortlessly into the next: the animated ecstasy jazz of ‘Restless City’ plunges into the hazy ‘Meeker Warm Energy’ as if their families had spent all their holidays together growing up, before the joyful lolling of ‘2 Is 8’ acts as the perfect foil to the breathless hedonism of ‘Airglow Fires’.

The deft coherence of Reality Testing means that there aren’t a huge number of tracks that necessarily leap out with ear-catching individualism, but it’s this approach that makes the record such a seductively immersive experience.

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