Published Jun 16, 2014The latest offering from British producer Lone, a.k.a. Matt Cutler, tunnels through a strange middle-ground of acid house and hip hop, fusing the two dissimilar genres into a concoction that's as palatable as it is intriguing. With Reality Testing, his return to R&S Records and his first LP since 2012's superb Galaxy Garden, Cutler doesn't merely lump two differing styles together, but somehow presents them in such a way that you begin to draw similarities between the two that were previously non-existent.
At one point, the album moves from "Meeker Warm Energy," a cozy hip-hop track, to the piano-looped house vibes of "Aurora North Quarter." While both songs have no real structural similarities, they emanate the same soft glow and have the same kicks, so that one can't help but begin to connect the dots together. Even their titles suggest segues from one to the other, as meek warm energy turns into an Aurora Borealis. Couple this genre sewing with Lone's trademark 8-bit colourfulness and you've got an extremely vivid album. This is Lone's best work to date, and one that shows it's possible to keep evolving while holding onto a strong sense of identity. (R&S)