Written By: Fletcher Bonin
Ringgo Ancheta is better known by his stage name Mndsgn. While to the uninitiated this may seem like nothing more than a jumble of random letters, Ancheta’s stage name proves to be more than first meets the eye. Mndsgn is a shortened version of ‘Mind Design’. Upon listening to his music, especially his latest album Body Wash, you will realize just how appropriate a name this is for him. Somehow, his music seems to capture the abstract intangibilities of our minds, or even our ‘mind designs’ perhaps. His music is upbeat, glimmering, and electronic with hip-hop undertones. It is the experimental and often psychedelic quality of his music that gives the ‘mind design’ aspect of his handle its meaning.
Each of the sixteen tracks on Body Wash offers a new expression or musical decision. Some tracks are buoyant and fast paced, while others are more bass heavy and slower. In doing so, each song transmutes a different emotion or experience. In this way, the album taken in its entirety provides a range of emotions and possibilities for the listeners to enjoy, reflect upon, or in which to lose themselves. There is something subtly cathartic about Mndsgn’s music, especially on this latest production.
My favorite track of the album is ‘Use Ya Mind (Twentyfourseven)’. This title indeed becomes the refrain for one of Body Wash’s most hypnotic tracks. The song is slow with a steadily pulsating bass layer, complemented by shimmering piano strikes and a multitude of percussion arrangements. These lucid instrumentals are broken up only by the vocals and the rhythmically repeating ‘you gotta use ya mind, twenty four seven’. I would be surprised if Mndsgn wasn’t playing off of his own name on this track, what with the included elements of the mind and all.
Other tracks I enjoyed are the echoed and dreamlike ‘Vague / Recalibrate’ as well as the bright and hyper energetic song ‘Cosmic Perspective’. The latter was originally released as a single to wide acclaim. Body Wash belongs somewhere between atmosphere and electronica in terms of categorization, though various tracks challenge both these stamps. The album is thought provoking and complex while maintaining a loose, relaxed quality that puts the listener at cautious ease. Body Wash may well be the soundtrack to our dreams, or else to the future. I encourage you to listen the album in its entirety, as each track offers some new perspective.