There is a similar mood comparison with the east and west coast of the United States, as there is between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Cape Town, like Los Angeles has a reputation for being less rushed and laidback. So the visit of one of LA’s top underground music producers, Ringgo Ancheta, better known as Mndsgn (pronounced Mind Design), is the perfect fit for our climate and mood.
Mndsgn has emerged from the infamous LA beat scene, an artistic movement and more of an approach to music than a genre. The scene has in recent times, arguably placed LA, as the centre of modern electronic music, a sonic aesthetic that is loosely rooted in hip hop, and by its experimental nature, wide open and expansive. It is an embodiment of the cause and effect modern audio technology has on music creation, coupled with the rich and diverse mix of the LA community and millennial sensibility.
Mndsgn has an intriguing past. From Filipino decent and rumoured to have grown up in a commune, cut off from the outside world, his rapid take to music production and relentless output, from near complete isolation, is astounding. It is this mystic freedom that one immediately feels in his music. Currently signed to independent label Stones Throw Records, he has two full album releases – his debut 2014 release, Yawn Zen, and Body Wash, released late last year.
The slew of EPs, singles and various collaborations and remixes of his work, available on Bandcamp and YouTube, are testament to his prolific output.
His latest album, Body Wash, is a modern funk, 80s inspired, jazz and boogie, cosmic haze, and features the spaced out, psychedelic track, Cosmic Perspective.
Mndsgn is a dreamy, calming experience in the beat scene and is renowned for his layered, melodic synth style, and hypnotic jazz and trippy grooves. His restrained vocal has that smooth Michael Franks (70s and 80s smooth vocal jazz artist) cadence, creating a sound, akin to the pairing of clichés, all sitting together in a slow nostalgic funk. With a tonality that is effortless and free, with simple, yet pleasing chord progressions and beefy, loose beats, he brings a strong melodic edge to underground hip hop. And the further he progresses into music, the more his beats are getting buried and tamed under, layers of melodic washes.
Mndsgn will be in Cape Town this weekend, to perform at a pool party, at a secret location, somewhere in the city centre. The event is being staged by YOH Experiences, a series of irregular, sonic and visual experiences at different, unusual venues. Their mission, like the colloquial term “yoh” implies, is to wow audiences. Hosting an artist like Mndsgn, clearly illustrates their aim to deliver quality, current and edgy entertainment.
This is a party for anyone who likes good eclectic music, away from a club environment.
Still a relatively young venture, YOH Experiences hosted its first event at the end of last year with Olugbenga (Metronomy) headlining at a house party, and they have plans for more exciting productions to surprise and wow! Joining Mndsgn on the line-up are DJs, Pierre-Estienne, Luca Williams, Lapre, Gourmet, Dada Shiva, yoyo and Fever Trails. The party takes place on Saturday January 28 and tickets are available through Quicket. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/events/620203108164089/