John Johnson’s ICONYC Noir rounds out a successful year by welcoming Gaston Ponte to the label for his debut EP. Tipped as one of Argentina’s top up and coming talents, progressive music tastemaker Hernan Cattaneo has been one of the first to sing his praises. Releases on Auditen Music, One Of A Kind, Soundteller Records and Stellar Fountain have all been well received, ultimately leading to his ICONYC Noir debut entitled ‘Monochromatic’.
Beginning with the title selection Gaston explores the smooth progressive sensibilities for which he’s become so loved. Warm, inviting and undeniably fluid, it’s a creation which quickly captures your imagination, pulsating with excellent cadence as airy effects, playful stabs and symphonic overlays further saturate your senses. Bursting with positive vibes the main break proves to be a highlight, with it’s processed pianos and creamy musicality advancing the narrative into a classic key changing finale.
The second selection ‘Mode On’ sits in a similar sonic space but comes off a touch darker and more percussive. It’s tight beats, firing rhythms and catchy hooks bring waves of energy early on. Layers of drums build around the groove as timely splashes and haunting pads carry into break. Smooth chord changes then bring a more emotive sensibility, elevating mood as charming motifs provide a tasteful peak before seguing into a gorgeous finale. The beauty of this one lies a bit under the surface, a very satisfying journey from Gaston.
Rounding out the release are the equally compelling lines of ‘Cover Me’. Although the BPM is the same as it’s predecessor this feels a touch pacier with a full driving groove playing a large roll in that. Intricate electronics and bubbly tones create a gorgeous flow while choppy percussion and charming melodies continue to advance the journey. Once again rooted by nostalgic chord changes, it’s the main break which brings this one all together. Positively glowing, it sits at the heart of piece, gently delivering goose bump worthy moments before a soaring finale rounds out the track and release in style. Gaston’s written some amazing progressive house this year and all three of these sit near the top of his best ever work. A great signing for John Johnson’s ICONYC Noir to cap off a memorable 2019. Highly recommended.
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