MNDSGN: BODY WASH

September 16th, 2016 | Album reviews

MNDSGN
Body Wash
Stones Throw

The most recent musical offering from Ringgo Ancheta a.k.a. Mndsgn, is a palimpsest of R&B, soul jazz, and boogie genre aesthetics tastefully swirled together with a futuristic flourish to invoke the aural illusion of a voyage through the self. Cogitation and mental function are central themes of Body Wash—Ancheta’s whispery narrative vocals encourage the listener to use the mind ‘twentyfourseven,” to focus on otherworldly perspectives, to regularly practice resetting and recalibrating, and to acknowledge the worthwhile risk it takes to trust someone, especially the self. While there’s a kind of subtle sexual energy à la the S.O.S. Band live from a cosmic disco dream blimp, the essential message behind Body Wash is one of self-reflection. Muted jazz trumpets, a soulful cello, the celestial tones of the Wurlitzer and the Rhodes, and dreamy pastel vocal loops embellish the path that Ancheta’s vocals walk us through with explanatory patience. His vocals are featured much more prominently than previously, making the instrumental cuts feel more like interludes between scenes, instilling a constant momentum that flows and bobs to the wistful “I Guess It’s All Over,” the final and arguably most reflective track on the album. Body Wash deals with neither peaks nor valleys–instead, it’s a glistening purple river through the land of music.

—Christina Gubala