Album cycles come around about once every two years, but Mndsgn, aka Ringgo Ancheta, is constantly making music. He wanted to do justice to his prolific creativity, so rather than let unreleased tracks wither and die on his hard drive, he decided to put out two records ahead of his next studio album, and the concept of Snax was born.
Snax (one ‘x’) was a tape of remixes, self-released last year.
Snaxx (2 ‘x’s) follows in the beat tape style, with favorites from his hybrid live/DJ shows like “Deviled Eggs” making an appearance. On his Boiler Room TV show Breakfast with Ringgo, he welcomed artists like Anderson .Paak, Knxwledge, Swarvy and Ahnnu to jam and/or converse in his studio. Snaxx has a similar vibe of having friends come visit, an atmosphere Ringgo compares to inviting friends round for dinner and providing “something to chomp on” while preparing the meal. A few of those friends include close collaborators, Pink Siifu and Jon Bap.
Though Mndsgn’s sound always has one foot in the world of hip-hop, it never sticks with a single genre. His 2014 debut Yawn Zen’s dreamy atmospheres and languid beats felt ambient, even psychedelic, and 2016’s Body Wash took a different approach entirely, repurposing influences from 1970s and 1980s boogie and R&B into a conceptual, cosmic epic.
Of his decision to focus on beat-making for this record, Ringgo says, “My own body of work is a conversation within itself. I wanted to reiterate past works prior to singing/songwriting, while continuing to build and keep it interesting.”
The cover art, which Ringgo illustrated himself, was based on a photo taken by Dan Bensch, given to him by Stones Throw’s creative director Jeff Jank. The photo of a Foster’s Freeze reminded Ringgo of the donut shop on J Dilla’s Donuts cover.
Mndsgn projects that his next studio album, out in 2020, will be “a little bit moodier than previous works”, but for now Snaxx is more or less about having a good time. “It’s just fun in my eyes — I want to preserve that in my work and my life. We can dive into deep conversation or just bask in each other’s delirium.”
Photo Credit: Eric Coleman