The ever-prolific Lone dropped his sixth LP Reality Testing June 16 after months of providing sneak peeks left and right.
Continuing the trend of 2012’s Galaxy Garden, Reality Testing is obsessed with nostalgia. Lone gives a lot of attention to early ’90s hip hop, and plenty of people will pigeonhole the new album into the J Dilla worshipper camp, especially after hearing 2 is 8 or Coincidences. But a whole host of ’90s rave music gets referenced just as much–there’s frantic jungle rhythms, skittering techno textures, breakbeat stops and starts, and a couple of straight house tracks, all compiled to make this yet another fun addition to Lone’s already eclectic discography.
More than trying to replicate any specific genre, Lone just wants his music to sound old. Time and time again in interviews, Lone talks about how much he wants to use music to capture and relive memories. He opens up Reality Testing with static and then proceeds to sprinkle all of its songs with enough vintage dustiness, radio wave ringing, and vinyl crackle to make you think your speakers are reaching the end of their lifespan.
But what makes the dustiness more than just a tribute is the gorgeous contrast between it and Lone’s choice of luminescent textures–twinkling, sparkling, fluorescent synths; jingling chimes, and spritely Rhodes pianos, all arpeggiating and swirling together in an otherworldly, sun-soaked daze. The intros and outros of each song make you feel like you’re in one of the flying scenes of Waking Life, equipped with an old school Walkman playing early Boards of Canada songs.
The ghostly moans at the one-minute mark of Cutched Under will dissolve your body into star matter. Faint, disembodied voices in the background of Jaded make its already-mystical progression even more mysterious. Airglow Fires gets jazzy, but uses heavenly pads to keep itself from coming back down to earth. By the end of the album, you’ll be pinching yourself and looking at your surroundings just to make sure you’re not dreaming, which is pretty appropriate for an album named after the first step you have to take toward being able to lucid dream.
If you want to practice lucid dreaming yourself, grab the album over at Beatport.