Bathed in the washed out-neon stage lights, LA-based producer Mndsgn brought the digital funk to Rickshaw Stop on February 28. Backed by fellow producer-homies Swarvy on bass and Kiefer on the keys, the South New Jersey native cruised through the evening with tracks from his 2016 Body Wash, out on Stones Throw, and delivering punctuated, impromptu jam sessions with his buds.
In part with the 26th annual Noise Pop Festival, Mndsgn’s latest performance brought to mind his background and how over the years his sound has become an amalgamation of the paths he’s crossed throughout his entire lifetime.
Since officially emerging onto the scene in 2014, Mndsgn’s sound has shapeshifted from experimental hip-hop to esoteric, yet soulful funk compositions. Before graduating from the Low End Theory era with a pedigree in beatmaking, Mndsgn, born Ringgo Ancheta, grew up attending a gospel church and frequently trekked to Philadelphia to hang out at the local B-boy scene. He met fellow Stones Throw signee Knxwledge and since moving to LA, Mndsgn has jumped from making beats in the bedroom to entertaining sold-out shows across the globe.
At the Rickshaw, all of Mndsgn’s influences showed face in the music. Funky bass lines from songs like “Transmissionnn” and “Searching” pulsated throughout the venue, while silky ’80s R&B vibes “Lather” and “Alluptoyou” conjured up head-nodding waves through the all-ages crowd. Groovy synths forbid anyone from standing still for too long. For every knocking hip-hop beat, Mndsgn and his band threw in finesse and refinement with soulful rhythms and oozing Rhodes melodies, proving their worth as bona fide musicians.
Ahead of Mndsgn, the opening set included Oakland singer Stoney Creation, Chicago’s Lando Chill, and a DJ set from Swarvy to set up the otherworldly vibes across a spectrum of R&B, hip-hop and experimental, lo-fi beat music.