Reviews

MNDSGN
Snaxx

(Stones Throw)

7/10

Although the music of Los Angeles beatmaker Ringgo Ancheta on his latest tape tends toward J Dilla wholesomeness, cresting careful, warm instrumentals into gloriously deft collages, the vignettes on Snaxx are in dialogue with many a genre: funk, neosoul, jazz loops, psychedelic R&B, even some blown-out ripples of soothing ambient.

Snaxx’’s genesis is MNDSGN’s generosity of spirit. Ringgo Ancheta, the man behind the moniker, wanted to release a pair of stopgap tapes to hold ravenous fans over until the next studio album: last year’s Snax – a deliriously groovy, bouncing tape of remixes sprinkled with clipped voices of Nas and Method Man – and now Snaxx, a more considered, immersive follow-up brimming with the types of atmospheric productions Ancheta favours spinning in live DJ sets.

‘Spreads’ is sensual, smoke-shrouded R&B, slathered in jazzy chords and funk bass that drip like candle wax; ‘Hydration Station’ is a Flying Lotus reminiscent masterturn in omnidirectional drum pattering and weird, freaky synthesizers; ‘Unnecessary’ sounds like something Madlib concocted for the new Freddie Gibbs album; and ‘Deviled Eggs’, the slinky lead single, lurches with a moody Kaytranada bass, making the dancing keys and warm, static-laden drums curl into one another’s arms.

The conciseness of each cut (averaging about 2 minutes) can be misleading: the interplay between idiosyncratic samples, gleaming synths and grime-encrusted drums has enough audaciousness (and artful mixing and sequencing) to make the tape unfurl like one of those dreams you’d rather not wake from. On the more jazz-centric cuts, the iconoclasticism of Robert Glasper and the pretty experiments of friend and peer Knxwledge come to mind; during the spunkier moments there are echoes of Dam Funk’s sun-bleached, velvet-smooth modern funk. As intended, there’s enough cosmic soul here to luxuriate your mind right through until MNDSGN’s next full release. 

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