Bass Coast was able to sit down for a quick interview with Los Angeles based producer MNDSGN. A veteran of the LA Beat Scene, MNDSGN has spent the past decade breaking down boundaries between genres to create an entirely unique style of music. His most recent album Snax is currently available from Stones Throw Records.
Low End Theory just announced the end of their 12 year run. You will be playing one of their final nights at the end of the month. Can you talk about your experience with Low End and what it has meant to you over the years?
When I first started visiting LA for creative purposes around 2007-08, Low End had a huge impact and impression on me. I had already spent years making beats back home, so to see how vibrant the community was, through Low End, meant the world to me. Needless to say it was a catalyst to making the decision to relocate. Attending the club in its golden years, for me, really built that foundation for respect and openness in a place that embraced it. Community is the heart of any movement and it was beyond a blessing to be there for it. For most of us, the awareness of the culture we were cultivating made it that much more potent. On top of all that, I was able to meet my partner in crime there, so THANK YOU FOREVER LOW END!
Your newest LP Snax (Stones Throw 2018) features you reinterpreting classic funk and hip-hop tracks. What are some of the sources that you drew inspiration from and are they things that inform your live performances?
I used none other than records and the good ol internets. I've been playing a lot of these remixes + edits out for years now, whether I'm spinnin or playing off of the SP.555. I never felt like I needed to share it until now. I felt like folks could use a snack before the next meal.
You’ve been a prominent force in LA’s beat scene for the better part of a decade. In this time your sound has developed greatly while still retaining a signature style. What have been some of the constants in your musical process over the years?
I feel like harmony has been a driving force since the beginning. Arrangement and chord progressions were always something I aspired to expand in my work. The deeper I dig, the more endless the journey becomes. Texture has also always played a major part. Before I started growing into my own mixing techniques, there was always this effort to emulate the grit that I heard in various forms of music, whether it be the sound of dusty old records or old beat tapes that were probably tracked into a cassette deck. Over time, I realized my imagination of how things were achieved, was just as, if not, more important than the knowledge itself. Between texture and harmony, I feel like those two have been consistent traits in my music throughout the years.
We’re really excited to have you at Bass Coast this year. How do you approach playing an outdoor festival as opposed to, say, a night club?
All gigs are different. I've found it better for me to just vibe out the crowd and see what they have an appetite for. I figure if I stay ready, I aint gotta get ready.
You can catch MNDSGN at the Cantina Stage, Saturday at 2:00 PM.