Takuya Matsumoto first came to light with EPs like Side by Side and Drafting Under The Stars, which fused an appreciation for house’s underlying structures with unique instrumentation and arrangement; take the wonderful accordion in ‘Jump Rope Music‘ for example. Seeing the year out in prolific style, one of two forthcoming EPs in as many months sees the release of Places of Colour EP on Fina Records.
Premiered in full here, ‘Seasons’ is Matsumoto at his playful best – beautifully constructed keyboard lines roll and tumble, evoking a walk home after a long summer’s day. Occasionally small, staccato bass lines enter to intertwine with the keys and subtly help the drums propel the track forward. Tastefully constructed, as we’ve come to expect from all Matsumoto productions, every element is carefully balanced, accentuated by the superb mixdown. The end result is a track that sounds simple but, on repeated and careful listens, a detailed and intricate world is revealed.
Elsewhere on the EP, lead track ‘Coco’ possesses a clever broken beat paired with plucked strings and a melancholic piano line. ‘Filo’ is something surprising from Matsumoto – a fully formed house DJ tool. A filtered guitar riff rises and falls over some playful scatty vocals and a squirming synthesiser, maintaining a nice sense of tension throughout. ‘Souvenir’ closes the EP with a similar melancholy feeling to ‘Coco’, but more restrained.
As a whole, Places of Colour shows an emotional nuance that surpasses most house producers; it’s both sad and optimistic, resigned but always moving onwards. Often dance music aims at the big feelings – joy, euphoria, desolation – but this is an exploration of emotions as usually felt, ambiguous and inward looking.
Places of Colour EP is out now on vinyl (order from Juno) and available digitally from 16th Nov.