Ernest Gonzales – Natural Traits
Perhaps most known for his lucha libre guise as Mexicans With Guns, San Antonio’s Ernest Gonzales wears many masks. A middle school technology teacher, record label owner, husband, and father of two, Gonzales doesn’t buckle under the weight of multiple personae. Rather, EG draws inspiration from his multifaceted background, producing a diverse swath of sounds covering various states of introspection, of which low-end bass only tells a fraction of his story.
Gonzales’ 2010 album and art book, ‘Been Meaning To Tell You’, channeled the tensions of being away from from his wife, Devyn, during winter’s numbest and loneliest months, emerging as an opus for trust, love and dedication. Having remixed A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Regina, ‘Natural Traits’ is the latest EG creation, an LP that blends Gonzales’ gift for melodic songwriting with his understanding of electronic craftsmanship.
Carefully composed of vivid rhythms, emotive melodies and aerial harmonies, ‘Natural Traits’ blurs the lines between analogue and digital worlds. Free of samples, Gonzales juxtaposes live instrumentation with classic electronic tropes to produce tracks that float, flit, bump, and pulse with grace and subdued movement.
Tracks like “Peaks & Valleys”, “Beneath the Surface”, and “In The End” highlight EG’s ambient side with swirls of trilling guitar chords, painting an analogue soundscape of ‘natural’ emotion and sincere serenity. Others, like “The Heroic Lives of Particles” and “The Scattered Thoughts of Raindrops”, bumble with digital angst and glitchy disquietude, venturing deep into the technological world and casting a shadow of electronic mystique.
“When Synchronicity Prevails” represents perhaps the perfect balance of polarities, with luscious synth waves and delicate guitar lines materializing halfway through with a four-on-the-floor rhythm of tactile texture that round out its ethereal feel.
Let go and lock into EG’s colorful collection of romantic rhythms and grooves on ‘Natural Traits’.