Mndsgn is living his best life. That’s the joy, love, and passion flowing through Snaxxx, the third installment in his series of Snax records, which he has been releasing between full albums since 2018. Snaxxx is exactly what the word indicates—not quite a meal, but just a bit more than a morsel, in musical terms. It is part beat tape, part offering of random ideas he has chosen to share with the public in snippets, for fans and couples looking to generate that nighttime heat (possibly as an introduction to the next full album?).
Ringgo Ancheta, better known as musician/beatmaker Mndsgn, has found the right combination of talents. He excels as a producer, arranger, vocalist and provider of blissful meditations. Snaxxx surpasses previous standards with 16 tracks in 27 minutes that comfort the soul like a ’70s shag rug hugging every inch of your feet. It’s the fusion of previous eras (sorry Swifties) that gives Mndsgn fans that joyful dilemma of deciphering: Can a beat tape really help me get my groove on, revive my stroke, and completely bring that special someone to peak ecstasy while keeping you both rocking to the wee hours of the morning? Mndsgn says yes, to all of it.
Since his debut in 2014 with Yawn Zen right up to his career magnum opus Rare Pleasure from 2021, those library music samples, ’80s boogie records, and maybe some Kashif-type arrangements, Mndsgn has been in his own universe. Snaxxx overwhelms with ambient love sentiments, such as “(my)PLEASURE” feat Liv.e making banging R&B moments that Ghostface would love to spit on while keeping that Dart Adams beat jacket right on time with a 2023 Chef’s-kiss standards. “UdontwantwannafallintheLAVA” cooks down the stride with perky bass lines at the top to indicate contemplating love is a funk-forward rumination. That drops so naturally into “MakeU.” And to top it off, those close friends Anna Wise, Liv.e, and Devin Morrison make grown and sexy cameos, adding to the allure of this chocolatey, salty-sweet cupcake.
This third installment is a solo production record, as Mndsgn makes clear in the liner notes. No all-star L.A. band backing him up this time. However, the vibes, ornate arrangements, and artwork created by Mndsgn. himself, which evokes a nostalgic feeling reminiscent of snack packaging found in Asian supermarkets, fit right in with the tried and true Quincy Jones-type introductions to different suites, laying out a new playbook for the beat-tape game.
Can’t wait for that next main course.
Label: Stones Throw
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to Treble since 2018. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in The Wire, 48 Hills, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK and Drowned In Sound.