As noted in the past, Matthew Puffett has a penchant for "happy" sounds. The frantic arpeggios and joyful synth splashes his Future Beat Alliance project favours aren't for everyone. Of his latest release the British producer says, "I guess it's more of a darker approach to my sound. But still maintaining a certain amount of soul within the music; a little bit of light towards the end of the tunnel! Just as the title says: 'Grey Summer.'"
Puffett must be a happy man indeed, because both sides of the record still show a relentless optimism. "Regurgitate," for example, builds busily until Puffett strips it all back for a gentle cymbal and bouncy synths. With the mid-section reprising the crowd of brash sounds, it's only in the last minute that anything remotely melancholy—in this case, a pad—takes control. Nevertheless, its impact is lessened by giant, shuddering vibrations, like a wire cable getting plucked.
Emotionally, the title track works in reverse, with a fat, breezy arpeggio lightening the gloom halfway through. It's not especially dark before then, but loads of reverb and faint howling noises do feel somewhat ghostly. The track's considerable momentum is generated via a torrent of hypnotic drum hits placed between the main kicks. Even if it's not what most of us would call dark, Grey Summer is another notch in Puffett's already considerable belt.
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Tracklist: Future Beat Alliance - Grey Summer A Grey Summer