Dutch duo Mononoid make their debut on Guy J’s Lost & Found with a two-track EP packed full of melodic progressive cool.
I’ve liked a lot of Mononoid’s previous output, especially their material on Traum, and it’s easy to see why these particular tracks appealed to Guy J so much. The lead track, ‘Pathways’, is actually the weaker of the two in my opinion – which is certainly not to say it’s not worth your time. On the contrary, it’s atmospheric from the opening kicks, with soft pads enveloping the track as it introduces a swaying bassline, increasingly busy percussion, and swirling synths. ‘Swirling’, that’s the word – the whole tracks swirls as it builds towards the breakdown, with subtle rippling melodies slowly coming to the fore. The second half of the track is very similar to the first, though it’s saved from becoming repetitive by the spacious melodies that flutter in briefly two minutes before the end.
So I don’t have any gripes with ‘Pathways’ – it’s just that ‘Probes’ is even better. Submerged, dubby echoes and low-slung bass licks provide our first introduction to the track, and they’re soon joined by cool percussion and twangy, interwoven synth lines. The sheer beauty of the track isn’t manifest until just before the three-minute mark, when somber, gorgeous pads drift into earshot for the first time, while the breakdown spins a chiming melody over a dubby haze, leading to a superbly dreamy drop. As Shakin’ Stevens would no doubt say if he heard this record, lovely stuff.
This is deep, liquid progressive house from Mononoid, with both tracks being well worth your time and money, but ‘Probes’ providing the more emotional punch of the pair in my opinion.