Five Deez, 3582, Beautiful Killing Machine, Rebel Clique, Fat Jon – Jon Marshall has been releasing his songs under different bands and artist names for over two decades now. The spectrum ranges from rap to soundtracks for anime series – but his love for instrumental hip-hop still remains. Following on from »Humanoid Erotica« in 2001 and »Rapture Kontrolle« in 2012, he is now using his Maurice Galactica alter-ego for the third time. Marshall describes the music he produces under this name as more experimental. And indeed, »Plaything: Cipher« sounds more spherical and dreamy than its purely instrumental predecessors »God’s Fifth Wish« from 2020 and the two »Tephlon Funk« albums from 2018 and 2020. In practice, this means that the 46-year-old now favours soft, drawn-out sound surfaces on his Galactica outings instead of pushing conventional hip-hop beats with jazz elements. The drums beat a little softer, the bass sounds don’t piece the bone and marrow. The 15 tracks on »Plaything: Cipher« certainly do not raise your pulse. On the contrary. »Spaceships And Beat Machines« enchants with its sweet piano performance. »The Feelings« loses itself in a sea of soundscapes, without any drumming at all. And »Angular Krush« seems almost futuristic with its flickering synth elements. This is unobtrusive music that warms the soul. Fat Jon does it with feeling on »Plaything: Cipher«.