"Marching Bands, Kierkegaard and Other Musical Influences" by Nate Chinen for The New York Times, published July 13, 2014


The underground hip-hop producer Ringgo Ancheta, who lives in Los Angeles and goes by Mndsgn (as in “mind design”), favors murky, underwater sounds, trippy and irresolute. “Surface Outtakes” — his new release on Leaving Records/Stones Throw, available for digital download or as a limited-edition cassette — suggests a sticky syrup boiled down from ingredients harvested in the peak production years of soul-jazz. Sometimes, as on “Eggs” and “Overwhelming Gratitude,” he reaches for groovy bliss, relying on chiming Fender Rhodes piano; a track like “Dialect” goes in for a more ambient, brooding drone. “Seemingly All G,” one of three tracks included only on the cassette, involves a formless rustle of bass, synthesizer and what sounds like a gamelan. Mndsgn’s official debut album on Stones Throw, “Yawn Zen,” is due out on Aug. 26, but these scraps and B-sides offer plenty to mull over. – NY Times

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