By now, Lone has figured out his sound. Listeners, too, should know what to expect before listening to his latest EP, Ambivert Tools Volume Three. The Nottingham native's productions will be synth-heavy and rave-y; you can bet on the presence of moody ambience and cosmic arpeggios. Lone faithfully dips into England's party-music past, but with a level of polish that was lacking the first time around.
Tried and tested, there's still room to play with the formula — and Lone, born Matthew Cutler, proves that much on his most recent release. Leading with "Hyper Seconds," Lone brings together some seriously heavy percussion and nimble key work. Airy synths are the perfect counterpoint to an uncompromising four-to-the-floor beat.
Production can sometimes be a game of chess — one wrong move can nullify all those that came before it — and so it is with the followup "Temples." Lone expertly builds up a deep, slowed-down break-beat tune, but then comes the bamboo flute, which unfortunately takes away from the otherwise dreamy soundscape. Thankfully, the instrumental misstep doesn't run the duration of the track. There are welcome reprieves.
Very much a Lone record, Ambivert Tools Volume Three is a good sampling of the producer's overall output, which spans about a decade. There are enough positives to make it a worthwhile — if not entirely memorable — listen. (R&S)