Los Angeles, CA-based producer and artist Ringgo Ancheta, best known as MNDSGN has had one of the more unusual backgrounds of any contemporary producer. Ancheta’s parents were once members of the Philippine arm of Aum Shrinriyko, a controversial cult that reportedly believed in the imminence of armageddon — and believed that the US would start the process with the attacking Japan to begin World War 3. As a child, Ancheta was raised in the forests — until the group’s increasing ventures into terrorist activities, forced his family to flee the group in the late 1980s. The Anchetas were granted political asylum and eventually settled in rural New Jersey, where the young Ancheta was raised on the outskirts of a commune without electricity, while his father worked as a researcher at Princeton Neuroscience Institute.
As the story goes, one of Ringgo Ancheta’s earliest excursions into the “modern: world was a trip in which he hitchhiked to Philadelphia — and as he has publicly described it, the first guy he encountered, introduced an impressionable young Ancheta to beat making and production. Within a day, Ancheta was making his own beats on his newfound friend’s sampler. And as his trips, to Philadelphia became more frequent, he began using the name Mndsgn (pronounced as “mind design), largely inspired by the Nas lyrics, “my mind is seeing through your design like blind fury,” and a nod to his father’s work in neuroscience.
Much like a large number of J. Dilla-inspired instrumental producers and beat makers, Ancheta eventually headed west to Los Angeles, where he was eventually signed by renowned indie hip-hop label Stones Throw Records, who released his full-length debut Yawn Zen, an effort that seemed deeply inspired by the peaceful bliss of meditation and paired it with a thoughtful soulfulness.
The renowned producer, who recently played at Northside is putting the finishing touches on an album that is slated to be released by the end of this year, and the yet unnamed album’s first single “Ya Own Way” a shimmering, slinky and soulful bit of synth funk that channels Dam-Funk, complete with vocals fed through vocoder and other effects to give the entire song a retro-futuristic and cosmic sheen.