Reality Testing

R & S • 2014

»When I say ›real‹ I mean ›reality real‹. I mean ›real real‹«, is what we’re told in the second track »Restless City«. Of course, the whole story of reality is a tricky one, considering that a woman’s voice asks herself in track number eight: »Am I dreaming, am I awake?«. Apparently, there’s a way to find out, but it’s kept from us until the very end of the record: Have a read, look somewhere else, read again and then decide if the words are still the same. Hence, it seems easy enough to differentiate between lucid dreams and reality. However, in between this seeming sobriety, Matt Cutler’s music drifts off into a hypnagogic state, in which the lines between sleeping and waking are being crossed over and over. It’s obvious that the British musician with a soft spot for nostalgia has exchanged the futurism of his latest record »Galaxy Garden« with a sound that’s based on his early releases: Boards of Canada’s somewhat spherical flimmering meets Madlib’s coolness, is being shaken by soft borrowings from house and completed by his trademark synth-sounds, which have always been the foundation of Lone’s music. »Reality Testing« doesn’t just create the opposition between dream sequences and pieces of reality, there’s also the symbiosis of melancholy yearnings and unrestrained joy that Cutler is known for. With his sixth official record (it is said that there are more than twenty albums at the back of his drawers, waiting to see the light of day), he manages to do the splits between a change of style and his trademark-sound, between dream and reality.