Ecstasy & Friends, as you might expect from its title, further exploits Cutler's talent for sun-drenched beat-strumentals, exposing once again the positive vibes he exudes so easily. "Sungrazer Cascade" is a knowing stomp coloured with shards of a synthesizer that bobbles in and out of earshot as if it were being hastily cued on a channel fader by an overzealous DJ, with the disjointed waltz that the erratic wash creates sitting perfectly atop the stuttered rhythm. "The Twilight Switch" and "Love Heads" pounce on a more straightforward melody provided by flittering strings, the former echoing their pitch with thick pads that eep out a sense of foreboding before the latter swells up into a twisted loop that gets pounded with big kick drums and bass that resonates like a didgeridoo.
The album feels like it is at once as much of a throwback to the rich and joyful workings of pop bands like Huey Lewis & The News as it is to the catchy computer game melodies that were forever ingrained into the developing brains of children in the '90s. It's the mood, along with the very similar sample sources, that makes Ecstasy & Friends a cohesive and rewarding listen. A track like "Karen Loves Kate," the lead giveaway "single," surmises this perfectly: It's a colourful swirl of reversed pan pipes that get peppered with a lead line straight out of an early Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack and a beat that stumbles along underneath, hitting hard with each kick drum. It's an almighty clash of ideas and sound palettes. But when shoulder pad bass patches go toe-to-toe with crystalline Moog riffs inside this Nottingham-based producer's computer, we're all winners, graciously basking in the rays of his happy-soaked beats.