Limited edition, indies only yellow vinyl LP on Stones Throw.
Mndsgn, aka Ringgo Ancheta, began building on dreams and sketches of songs that would later form the new record Rare Pleasure in 2018. The album brings together the music that has inspired Mndsgn over the years – R&B, soundtrack music, psychedelia and jazz – into a rich, expansive sound.
To bring his vision to life, Mndsgn assembled a cast of musicians: Kiefer Shackelford (piano), Swarvy (guitar, bass), Will Logan (drums), Carlos Niño (percussion), Fousheé, Devin Morrison and Anna Wise (vocals), Miguel Atwood Ferguson (strings) and other contemporaries. It took only a week to lay everyone’s parts down: “The process was quite natural and aligned with my approach to capture the illusiveness of a moment in time.”
Ringgo describes the concept of ‘Rare Pleasure’ as an appreciation of sharing life, inward reflection, and the gift of joyful catharsis. Threaded throughout the album is a ‘Rare Pleasure’ theme inspired by soundtrack music; its repetitions and variations “echo the recurring motifs we experience in life, sometimes being revisited by the same lessons in different shapes and forms.”
Experiences in Ringgo’s life informed his lyrics: ‘Hope You’re Doin’ Better’ was written while processing a loved one’s struggle with mental illness. “Although communication between each other was severed, it allowed the opportunity to truly acquaint myself with the concept of loving from afar.” ‘Medium Rare’ and ‘Colours of the Sunset’ seek transcendence through simple acts of self-love and introspection. ‘Abundance’ is about “the inner abundance that’s always accessible whether we realize it or not”, and ‘Slowdance’ is dedicated to the vulnerability of growth in new relationships.
Though the message of Rare Pleasure feels especially relevant to the present moment, it has been a guiding principle throughout Mndsgn’s life: “We are beings living this human life that’s only going to happen once and only once, every moment infused with a magical impermanence, a rarity.”