Yawn Zen

Stones Throw Records

Regular price
$36.00 SGD
Regular price
Sale price
$36.00 SGD


Mndsgn is pronounced mind design. The law calls him Ringgo. 

Ringgo Ancheta is an anomaly among hip-hop producers - not raised in the suburbs on a steady diet of video games and hip-hop, but in the forest like a beast. His parents were members of the Philippine arm of the Aum Supreme Truth Cult, whose venture into terrorist activity caused them to flee the group in the late 1980s. They were granted political asylum in the U.S. and settled in rural New Jersey, where Ancheta was raised on the outskirts of a commune without electricity while his father worked as a researcher at Princeton Neuroscience Institute.

Ancheta describes one of his earliest excursions of his own into the modern world, when he hitchhiked to Philadelphia. "The first guy I met on the street introduced me to the world of music and beat making. Within a day I was making my own beats on his sampler."

As his trips into the city became more frequent, he began using the name Mndsgn (pronounced "mind design"), inspired by the Nas lyric, "my mind is seeing through your design like blind fury," and a not-so-subtle nod to his father's work in neuroscience.

His transformation complete, Mndsgn headed west. He now resides in Los Angeles, works with Stones Throw Records, who released his debut album Yawn Zen in 2014.   

He's carved himself an unusually calm-sounding place in the Los Angeles beat scene. Songs on Yawn Zen were recorded "in a state of bliss," as the producer explains. "I've allowed myself to study the absence of daily struggle and it's effects, and began to subconsciously paint that vibe in the music. Yawn Zen comes from a very neutral place that we, sometimes, are too busy to realize is there." – Stone Throw Records

“Los Angeles-based hip-hop producer Mndsgn, aka Ringgo Ancheta, was raised on the edge of a commune with no electricity, even while his father worked as a high-brow college professor. Dad was also an ex-member of the Philippine arm of the Aum Supreme Truth Cult as well, plus Ringgo didn't encounter modern music 'til he hitchhiked to the city. The point is, Mndsgn's debut album Yawn Zen is such a unique affair that it must have come from a maverick talent or a producer who just recently encountered decades of pop all at once.

In this case, it's likely both, as there are wonderfully warm harmonies and innocent singing on the track "Exchanging" that probably come from recent exposure to Pet Sounds, and yet the angst and the jagged angles of the song all suggest the post-Deerhoof world of indie. Both of these influences are utilized not as tropes, but as fresh sparks, as if the Beach Boys and Deerhoof were running up the charts in tandem in 2014. Then there's the smoky "Sheets," where noir spy thrillers and ca-chunking drum machines combine for that alt and avant kind of hip-hop that's familiar ground for Stones Throw, and while the smooth and dreamy synth number "Txt (Msgs)" fits right in with the neo-soul and space disco revivals, it seems less retro hipster and more directly connected to the Giorgio Moroder or Deodato source-material. Mixing its eras with abandon, "Afternoon Shuffle" grooves as if there was a exotica/bachelor pad music revival in the '70s led by funk bands that was later remixed by Madlib.

This fresh approach to mining music's past is coupled with a love of flowing rhythms and delicate melodies that define Mndsgn, plus these right-sized, mostly miniature songs are strung together in a way that makes Yawn Zen an album to embrace in total. Fresh takes on familiar sounds with plenty of warm soul makes this one a keeper.” – AllMusic


Item description:




Yawn Zen


Stones Throw Records


Vinyl, LP, Album



Release Date:



Hip Hop, Electronica


Instrumental, Abstract, Experimental

Catalog No: