Having moved through groggy, distended hip-hop, rave-revivalist house, and the most populist album of his career in last year's Galaxy Garden, Matt Cutler's career as Lone is at an interesting juncture. Although his sunny, woozy melodies have remained a constant, the producer has never seemed content to stick with one style for too long. One wonders what twist he'll be able to come up with next. The two tracks on Airglow Fires don't really provide an answer, but they're a fine example of Cutler doing what he does best.
After its deceptively quiet intro, the title track finds Cutler draping in peaceful synthetic vocal pads and his signature shimmering keys before a brassy stab pattern takes over. It's so upfront that it almost overwhelms the drums' cushioned push, but this unbalance somehow enhances the track's overall warmth. The song ends with a locked groove (or just a tacked-on groove) of Ecstasy & Friends-style offbeat bounce, hinting that he may be headed back in that direction. "Begin to Begin," meanwhile, is highlighted by another of his typical melodies, deployed via woodwind, and this lends it the feel of an updated NY spiritual-house track—if only because of its regimented sense of freedom, as the flute is tightly tucked into its neatly swung groove. Cutler also drops in one of his typical vocal samples, "Am I dreaming, am I awake?," and it's expertly separated from the mix for maximum clarity. As one might glean from this description, these sun-dappled tracks don't fall far from the producer's prior work. But for those fiending for more Lone, they ought to do the trick nicely.