Lone: Emerald Fantasy Tracks (Magic Wire) / Once in a While (Werk)
Everything old is new again: it’s official. In the past several months Matt Cutler has dropped both an EP and an LP of vintage-sounding anthems right at a time where indie-pop is strangely fascinated with 80s MOR synth rock and ballads. It’s a curious thing since electroclash and its ensuing backlash seemed to leave a bad 80s aftertaste in the music community’s collective mouth less than 10 years ago. But that’s a topic for another time… the throwback in question here is that of turn of the 90s techno, back when artists like Speedy J, LFO, B12, Black Dog, 808 State and more were making their initial splash. Lone obviously loves the music of that time, because the 8 tracks of Emerald Fantasy Tracks are immersed in those sounds combined with current production tricks and an overall sound that’s a lot more dense and compressed. There are no real standouts here as every track is quite solid and works well as home listening as much as it would on a dancefloor. It’s just so damn sunny and joyous and irresistible, something that, in the grey throes of winter here in Portland right now, is a welcome change of “scenery.” The Once in a While EP pairs two originals alongside remixes from Sinden and Midland, each of whom steer the title track toward their respective sensibilities without deviating too sharply away from the retro sound that Lone does so well. The original is the highlight with its buoyant bassline and sunny steel drum melody, another top notch cut.