Matt Cutler from Nottingham fell in love with Jungle, Detroit Techno, Chicago House and Hip Hop. Under the name Lone he has been putting out albums and singles since 2007. Starting out with leftfield Hip Hop beats progressing into more dance floor oriented sound and eventually arriving at a stage where some critics tend to call him Rave. Paying homage to his musical roots with his Echolations EP – his latest release, he is currently working on his upcoming album on R&S. Valentin Mendetter sat down with him before a show.
If you would have to sketch out your story in the music world up until now, what would that look like?
Lone: I made music when I was really young – I started to get serious about it in my late teenage years and then I put an album out on a small label in Nottingham, where I was originally from in England. Took it from there, really. I got signed to Werkdiscs, did another album – then I set up my own label and did an album and a bunch of releases and this and that. Now I’m on R&S, it’s been a messy journey from just being a bedroom producer to being signed to loads of different labels, but now I’m on R&S and this is the one I’m sticking to.
Have you always been surrounded by electronic music?
Lone: Yeah definitely; since the start of me liking music. I got into a lot of Hardcore, Jungle – that was the first music I liked other than music, which was on computer games. I suppose that was my main introduction. From there I got into Hip Hop and electronic music like Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. All the stuff on Warp records is what I grew up on and then Chicago House, Detroit Techno. That and Hip Hop basically – it’s all electronic, I’ve never been into bands and stuff like that so much.
Your latest release on R&S, Echolations, is a very danceable record…
»All the stuff on Warp records is what I grew up on and then Chicago House, Detroit Techno. That and Hip Hop basically – it’s all electronic, I’ve never been into bands and stuff like that so much.«Lone
Lone: Yeah it’s just a reference to the music that inspired me basically, that I was first into, which was early nineties Hardcore, Rave and House music. It’s just like a love letter to all of that stuff. It shows where I come from basically – the next one might be a bit weirder. Especially being on R&S, it has such a history of putting out dance records, so it’s a reference to them as well.
If you say that your next record might be weird, what do you mean by that?
Lone: Not necessarily too weird for me, I don’t really know how to describe it. I’m working on the album now for R&S, I’ve put out recently; they’ve just been twelve-inch records for clubs. So I wanted to make dance music or music that could be played in clubs. Whereas I approach an album differently, I want it to something you can listen to at home. So it will be sounding quite different. Hopefully it will be out soon so you can make up your own mind.
How do you work?
Lone: I used to sit down whenever I had an idea, even in the middle of the night, no matter what time. But now I live with my girlfriend and she works in the day, and on the weekends I’m playing gigs pretty much every weekend. So I set aside days in the week. I get up early and basically sit down. Some days I just sit down and I don’t have an idea what I’m doing – nothing really comes to mind. On the good days I actually have an idea before I sit down to do it, it’s a lot easier then because I can just get working straight away. It varies all the time how it comes about.
Has that affected your production?
Lone: Yeah (laughs), it has changed it. The playing gigs has changed it, it has slowed it down. By the time I get home I sleep a lot and the next day I don’t feel very motivated to make music. It takes me a while to get back in the right headspace to work. When I’ve recovered from the weekend, that’s when the best ideas come about.
If you want clear your mind, and get some time off, what do you do?
Lone: I’m trying to work through it, even if nothing comes about; even if there’s no track coming out at the end. It’s just good to play around a little sometimes. Because I think the more time you spend on it the more motivated you get. It’s always horrible when I sit down in front of it on Monday morning and I don’t know where to start, but the more time you spend you break through and it gets easier as the hours go on. I also try to spend time with my girlfriend and catch up with my friends. Inspiration comes from everywhere, from friends – even if the weather is good. That helps me; it makes me feel a bit more enthusiastic about it.
If you want to get some thoughts on the stuff you are making who do you turn to?
Lone: I always send them to my friends. They are so close, that they’re almost like a second pair of ears. If I have doubts about something I can always turn to them and most of the time they think the same, so I’m not just limited to my own thoughts.