Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Lone - Galaxy Garden

Some excellent album art to boot. Nice job!
While I do make a point of supporting artists by buying music, it's not often that shops actually stock music that I like - especially mainstream ones. After popping into my local record store on a whim, I actually ended up buying tons of stuff that had just come out that I had no idea was actually available. Lone has a new album that I totally didn't know about, as did Simian Mobile Disco and Logistics, so HMV actually had a pretty good credit-crunch busting Friday.

In particular, the new Lone album Galaxy Garden was available and as I am complete sucker for his brand of 808 State-inspired dance music I had to make a point of writing something here to spread the word.

It has been said of Lone that he creates a musical vacuum with his music, creating a hole that didn't exist in current releases and filling it nicely. As with his previous EP and LP releases, Lone's new album has plenty of nice, rich chords with simple and catchy progressions, junxtaposed by jittering synth movements and lovely, bell-like synths sounds. Sequenced TB-303-like sounds add weird basslines to the whole mix. Add a liberal smattering of rain and wave effects and Lone builds up a whispy soundscape and delivers plenty of the same sort of music we have come to expect.

Drums are nicely compressed and sound like they've come from suitably vintage drum machines; in particular I hear the Roland TR 505 come up a lot, with its distinctive snare and tom sounds. For me it envokes a lot of nostalgia when hear these sounds, reminding me of simpler days playing on old Yamaha keyboards. Lone is also never afraid to shift up the beat, which also keeps his music fresh and interesting to listen to but makes it difficult to accurately define what sort of music this goes well with.

The album is spun over 12 tracks, all with widely varying styles including house, dance and even dubstep - of a sort, anyway. I would challenge Dubstep DJs to pop some of these tracks into a downbeat mix and I have no doubt that it would definitely go down well.

Either way, if you are on old school fan of house music from the 80s, or enjoy 808 State and acts of that time, or just like excellent music, this is definitely worth picking up. Highlights include Crystal Castles 1991 (excellent rave track), Cthulhu (lovely deep basslines) and Lying In The Reeds (just for chilling out to), but unlike other Lone albums (in particular Lemurian, which I didn't enjoy) this doesn't have a duff track on it: they are all excellent and well worth the tenner I spent on the album.

But don't take my word for it: have a listen to Crystal Castles 1991: