Lone – ‘Reality Testing’

Notts producer takes influence from J Dilla and Orbital on sixth album

Nottingham musician Matt Cutler mixes hip-hop and house on this, his sixth album as Lone. The success at the heart of ‘Reality Testing’ lies in the way it unites the grainy fluidity, sample sources and black music heritage both genres share. ‘Restless City’, for example, has jazzy chords and drums that bounce along like a J Dilla production at house pace, akin to the work of Slum Village DJ turned house producer Andrés, while ‘Aurora Northern Quarter’ mixes Italo house keyboards with boom bap beats. In lesser hands this might feel like an exercise in academic beatsmithery. But Lone coats everything in the same Orbital-esque melodies that made 2012’s ‘Galaxy Garden’ such a winner, producing an album that is both intriguingly new and gorgeously listenable.

Ben Cardew

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