Review Summary: Pure, unspoiled elation. Get it.
Ah...the wee hours are quite cozy. At 1am the moon is still crisp and glowing, and at about 5 the sky adorns this shy, vibrant hue between darkness and daylight. Sunrises are always gorgeous, both to look at and to just have there to intensify your mood. Everything is golden, like opening up a brand new Christmas present as a child. In other cases, some people just enjoy the state of being “half-awake”, where traces of dreams feel tangible, and you could just crash at any given time. Everything is glossy and feels more magical than it really is because you’re tired. But you feel great.
This state of intoxication can be fleeting, but it’s made audible with Matthew Cutler’s Lemurian
. Lone captures this essence with a very old camera; you can feel the sunrise gleaming through Cutler’s nostalgic tones and sparkling melodies. There’s a film of retrospect everywhere, as is a psychedelic threshold to daydreaming. Daydreaming, or simply fantasizing: euphoric thoughts that emerge from glazing over a beautiful view or enjoying absolute paradise. If you have ever vacationed to a tropical resort, you can feel the record emulating the anticipation that precedes the trip and the reality of the retreat itself. A day at the spa, sunbathing, Jacuzzis, cocktails; it’s basically the theme here.
Cutler makes typical IDM/trip-hop items his own, including bass-heavy beats and electronic melodies. Think of the instrumentation from Nas
’ “The World Is Yours” and you get a pretty clear picture of what Lemurian
sounds like. From the somber pianos of “Minor Suns” to the retro trailer/commercial vibe of “Green Sea Pageant”, instrumentation and samples are stunning. Beats are the record’s source of energy and percussion as every melody from the album is otherwise very soothing and calm. It demonstrates how Cutler’s work is a double-edged sword when you look at how every song can be either relaxed to or danced to. “Sea Spray” and “Interview at Honolulu” demonstrate this perfectly, while slower tracks like “Lens Flare Lagoon” are a bit more laid-back. The atmosphere passed along each passing song is consistently creative, with each track sounding distinct. As far as electronic music goes, it’s hard not to recommend something this fluid and thoroughly captivating.