Review by Kent Manthie
Just a little tease here, Airglow Fires is a 2-track single by Manchester (UK)-based Lone. Electronica maestro/producer, Matt Cutler has this single ready to go as a follow-up to his Galaxy Garden LP.
This CD single contains two heavy club mixes that remind me of 808 State, with a similar sonic strategy, updated a bit, though, for the times. The two tunes on here go seamlessly together, each clocking in at around 6 minutes. The spacey, ethereal textures on here make it sound like summer no matter what time of year you may be listening.
The mix starts out with the “title track”, which is punctuated by the occasional, sampled voice that says “WHAT?” now and then. Then, after an undulating, body-moving time, it slips into the other of the discs two cuts, “Begin to Begin”, which picks up where “Airglow Fires” leaves off. It’s a great little summer fete. Something that you can bounce to on the beach or contort on the dance floor to at the local danceteria, downtown, late, well into the night time.
It may sound just a tad dated, as may be gleaned from my referencing 808 State, but it doesn’t sound like it’s left over from 20 years ago, it does have a “now” sound quality to it. But to me, that really doesn’t matter anyway. I don’t care from whence it came or how it may have been derived, I’m only interested in the quality of the music. Well, yes: does it sound like 100 other things going on right now? Or is it unique in some way? Is there anything iconoclastic about it? Or is it just recycled radio dogmatic bullshit? Sometimes it’s hard to really “say” something about an album or a band that, on one hand, doesn’t sound awful or too derivative or is saccharine, it’s a workable thing on one hand, but from listening to it, I don’t get a real rush from it or lose myself in its own blissful radiance; instead I’m just able to go through it without it grating or being aurally obnoxious, i.e., I can stand listening to the whole CD and not feel like I’m “forcing” myself through it.
A truly brilliant gem will be something that doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard or something that takes elements of different genres or eras and synergizes the output with something special.
Airglow Fires is, of course, only two songs, so I can’t really judge it in full as I would a full-length disc, but I do like its groove, the swaying, pulsating, sweaty atmosphere it emits. I hope this s just a teaser and Matt is going to, in the not-too-distant future, give us more. Not just more, but more new music with which to dive in to the bay of sybaritic fluid.
Until then, make do with this. But also, beware, that Lone is showing up elsewhere as well, in the form of remixers, having taken apart and put back together songs by Radiohead (along with others) as a part of a set of Radiohead remixes of a few of their recent tunes as retooled by names such as Pearson Sound Scavenger, Four Tet and more. You will, no doubt, also find a track or two here and there, popping up on the occasional electronica/dance various artists compilations. Enjoy! –KM.