Mndsgn – Yawn Zen

Album Review by Bram E. Gieben | 12 Aug 2014
Album title: Yawn Zen
Artist: Mndsgn
Label: Stones Throw
Release date: 25 Aug

A slice of zen from the LA beat scene, courtesy of Mndsgn ('mind design'), a producer with one of the strangest bios ever written, involving flight from the mysterious Aum Supreme Truth Cult, and a childhood spent without electricity or modern techology. Each composition here was created in "a state of bliss" free from worldly cares, resulting in a hazy, dreamlike feel. Drawing as much on electronic shoegaze and post-dubstep as on the meticulous beatwork of J Dilla and Madlib, it's another convincing entry in the increasingly rich catalogue of sampledelic psychedelia emanating from the City of Angels.

From the washed out lounge funk of Homewards, to the looped, pitch-bent vocal snatches and hollow drums of Frugality, to the lo-fi stoner folk of Exchanging, there is a measured fragility and sun-dappled wooziness to Mndsgn's production. Richly-textured, minimalist but complex, it's an excellent fit for Stones Throw, and dovetails neatly with the efforts of the Brainfeeder stable's more esoteric, experimental artists. [Bram E. Gieben]