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The primary alias of Nottingham, England native Matt Cutler, Lone brings a vivid, technicolor approach to every style he touches, whether it's acid house, instrumental hip-hop, or atmospheric jungle. First gaining attention with the abstract downtempo of releases like 2008's Lemurian, he channeled 808 State-style house on the ecstatic Emerald Fantasy Tracks (2010) and several subsequent efforts, then combined hip-hop and dance tracks with 2014's Reality Testing. On 2016's Levitate, he plunged headfirst into jungle and breakbeat hardcore. Following several years' worth of club-focused EPs and archival releases, he fused dream pop and ambient house with his eighth full-length, 2021's Always Inside Your Head. Before he started making music as Lone, Cutler formed the hip-hop duo Kids in Tracksuits with DJ Andy Hemsley. The pair released a handful of EPs and performed a session on BBC Radio One in 2006. Lone debuted in 2007 with a CD-R, Everything Is Changing Colour, which recalled the pastoral folktronica of Bibio. A series of 2008 and 2009 releases on Nottingham-based Dealmaker Records and the Actress-helmed Werk Discs, including the full-lengths Lemurian and Ecstasy & Friend, positioned Cutler's project as something of a midpoint between admitted inspirations Madlib and Boards of Canada, as the producer combined off-center hip-hop beats with wistful, dreamlike layers and melodies. Cutler also collaborated with Tom Brayford-Watson (aka Keaver & Brause) as Kona Triangle, issuing the full-length Sing a New Sapling into Existence (Porter Records). While some Lone tracks -- or sections of some tracks -- had dancefloor appeal, Cutler flipped a switch in 2010. The A-sides "Pineapple Crush" (Magic Wire) and "Once in a While" (Werk Discs), along with the full-length Emerald Fantasy Tracks (Magic Wire), retained the evocative feel of his earlier work while incorporating his affinity for early-'90s hardcore, house, and rave. The deeply indebted yet unique sound carried through the six-track Echolocations EP (R&S), then took a bit of a goofball turn on "All Those Weird Things," both of which were released in 2011. "Crystal Gardens 1991" previewed Galaxy Garden, a 2012 album for R&S. Azealia Banks sampled Lone tracks on her 1991 EP and Fantasea mixtape, and Cutler worked with the rapper on subsequent releases, including her 2014 full-length debut, Broke with Expensive Taste. Lone's album Reality Testing, a mixture of downtempo hip-hop and house tracks, appeared on R&S in 2014. Two years later, he explored his love of '90s jungle with the full-length Levitate. In 2017, Cutler offered an entry in the DJ-Kicks series, marking his first commercial mix album. It was led by the single "Saturday Night." The same year, he initiated the four-volume EP series Ambivert Tools, which were compiled on a Japan-only CD in 2018. Cutler launched his Ancient Astronauts imprint in 2019, issuing the single "Melted (Out of Body Experience)" and two EPs of breakbeat-heavy club cuts, Abraxas and Not Seeing Is a Flower. He also produced Banks' single "Count Contessa." Cutler opened his vaults and released several albums of early material and rarities throughout 2020, including three volumes of the Greenhills Road Archive Traks series. He also returned to R&S with the collaborative EP Lone X Kettama. In 2021, Lone signed to the London-based Greco-Roman label and released Always Inside Your Head, a more song-based album that took inspiration from shoegaze, downtempo, ambient pop, and IDM.
© Paul Simpson & Andy Kellman /TiVo
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