Review

Mndsgn

Yawn Zen

Stones Throw • 2014

It’s not that easy to be fed up to your back teeth. Let’s take cake, for example: Your mom makes amazing pie. Let’s say it’s apple pie. But then, out of a sudden, you’re served apple pie where ever you go – at friends’ places, at parties, from your aunts, everywhere! And those apple pies are much worse that your mom’s, and yet, they’re everywhere. Of course, you’ll soon be tired of apple pie. It’s the same with the genre beatmaking/wonky/glitch/youknowwhat. Suddenly, it was everywhere. And still, Flying Lotus remained the über-genius, the very first apple pie. Other than that, there were too many beats of too mediocre quality. Fed up! But now, with Mndsgn there is someone who doesn’t re-invent the recipe but who knows exactly how to work it. So much about baking-metaphors because no matter how you put it: Mndsgn from Los Angeles (from where else, duh…?!) belongs to a two-digit-number of beat makers who are just too damn good to take part in re-creating redundancies. Of course, one can easily describe »Yawn Zen«, his debut for Stones Throw, by using the usual comparisons: stutters like J Dilla, jazzes like Madlib and bangs like a night at »Low End Theory« in Los Angeles. There are a few bits telling you exactly which Flying Lotus phase they were inspired by. But finally, it’s legit to draw the thousandth comparison to Flying Lotus, J Dilla and Madlib. And that’s really something. Because »Yawn Zen« blows away the satiety, caresses it with various textures and live-instruments and gives you the beatmaking-munchies through dozy vocals and psychedelic guitar-riffs. It feels like 2008 – the best year of the genre.