Nevertheless, as Lone has progressed since then—from Ecstasy and Friends and "Once in a While / Raptured," both for Werk, to "Pineapple Crush / Angel Brain" and now Emerald Fantasy Tracks, both for Cutler's own Magic Wire—he's created a body of work that forms a continuous line. Which is funny, since one of Cutler's real gifts is in his packaging; putting his singles on one of the albums would upset their balance as discrete works, carefully planned and executed. Yet everything is immediate: Lone's riffs tend to grab and hold, and even when he's muddying the waters with blobby bass and synths that seem daubed on, like bingo markers, he always presents a big picture with details.
Emerald Fantasy Tracks bears a similar relationship to "Pineapple Crush / Angel Brain" that Ecstasy and Friends did to "Joy Reel / Sunset Teens"—it's a slightly softened variation and expansion, more luxurious and therefore more adaptable for settling in for 40 or more minutes, rather than the zig-zag joy-buzzer feel of the singles. Relaxing the ear-grating quality of "Crush"'s super-sharp synth riff, EFT is every bit as agog, as ravey—only this version is far more Detroit-centric than it is indebted to breakbeats and pitch-shifted divas. Just listen to the snare and hi-hat programming of "Cloud 909," "Aquamarine," "Moon Beam Harp" and "Rissottowe4," whose accents and touches owe the Motor City, not to mention the industrial English North—to say nothing of the loosely lovely synth figures, calm string pads and a feel pitched between rock-the-house and know-thyself.
Cutler's ear for timbre and knack for sound treatments makes the entire album hum. At the center of "Reschooling" is a riff (played on a wooden xylophone?) that's been treated to just enough filtering to make it go in and out of focus, giving the track even more of an undulating feel. So does the rolling bass of the finale, "The Birds Don't Fly This High," which provides an anchor for all that dazzling stuff before it; give Cutler credit for knowing how to come down as well as take off.