Rare Pleasure is the third album from New Jersey native, LA-based producer, and musical mega-talent Ringgo Ancheta, also known as Mndsgn. Recognized best for his hip hop collaborations with the likes of Danny Brown and the Klipmode collective, on Rare Pleasure, Mndsgn. gives himself over to the world of indulgent mood and all-consuming satisfaction that was ’70s soul and R’nB. It’s actually not very hard to pin down where he is coming from and going to on this release.
Rare soul, despite its name, is pretty easy to come by thanks to the internet, and Smokey Robinson’s quiet storm style of soul is the sonic port that launched a thousand careers in the ’80s. Yet, Mndsgn. is still capable of making the sounds of your parent’s (or detached and wealth, bachelor uncle’s) finished basement and shag-carpet pool-room sound fresh and mercurial despite the blatant contours of its homage.
“3Hands / Divine Hand I” has a clamoring hip-hop beat that slips and slides below a caterwauling cascade of plummeting and cresting psychedelic melodies. “Hope You’re Doin’ Better” simmers with scintillation and desire, clinging to the breath of breezy light rock grooves and whispering synth lines. While “Medium Rare” does its best to revive spiritual jazz motifs as a new form of balladry and gospel of lovestruck devotion.
There seemed to be a real effort at one point by “cool” rock critics to stamp this sort of thing out of existence. But today, the quiet fulfillment and relaxed joy conjured on Rare Pleasure is alive and well, and there doesn’t seem anything that can harsh its mellow. Lean back, decompress, and let Mndsgn. take the wheel.
Buy and stream Rare Pleasure below via Bandcamp: