Image from prophetla.bandcamp.com
Stones Throw seems to never cease in evolving with the times. Whatever sound they decide to portray to the public, their idiosyncratic voices never seems to disappoint their audience. As other labels try their best to catch up with the sound of the modern era, Stones Throw continues to grow their own livestock and manages to keep eyes peeled for their next move. Holding the names of legends such as Madlib and Mayer Hawthorne, the label has a knack for noticing musicians that confront musical boundaries and give them the well-earned attention.
One of the artists on the label’s line-up is Ringgo Ancheta, also known by his stage name as Mndsgn. As the label’s affiliate, he’s known for fusing Hip-Hop with obscure samples, tones, rhythms, and sounds. His music feels warped, reverberated, compressed, and expanded. In this album, he adds along to his obscurity with old-timer Soul artist, Prophet. Together, the two worlds of these artists collide and seamlessly craft an album that merges the two talents into one sound.
Wanna Be Your Man is a ten-track project whose title serves as the definitive clarification of your typical R&B album. Although, the result of the album is anything but typical. This project feels like a tribute to the old-school sound of Parliament Funkadelic and the early years of Prince. Mndsgn’s sounds are esoteric and sacrosanct in the ear of his followers and affiliates. His beats can croon along with Prophet’s old school prose, as well as dance along in rhythmic celebration.
This is apparent in the first track, Insanity. The chords in this track are a gorgeous play of Dancehall music, only enhanced by Prophet’s smooth-operating voice. The chords in this song play in a catchy pattern, which prances around with soul and harmony. The next song in the album, Wanna Be Your Man, is my favorite off this album. Mndsgn’s signature sound plays smoothly along with Prophet’s yelping voice that seems to match perfectly. This is the perfect song for a drive under the sun as the clouds pass by and the wind hurdles into the car.
Prophet sings about topics that he’s been known to sing about since his 1984 album, Right On Time. Love and Lust are the main topics in his music, and due to his cool and light voice, along with the style of music he adheres to, it never grows stale. The track I Do Love feels like a tribute to Prophet’s 1980’s aesthetic. The chords on this track familiarize themselves with the post-disco era, which reminds of groups such as The Whispers.
Prophet pays respect to his own legacy with his singing, as well as swaddles with Mndsgn’s Soul-inspired production. Each song from this album catches certain grooves and rhythms that could be compared to the likes of the forementioned musicians, but that would be insulting the incredible talent of these two artists.
Prophet’s voice is none like any other voice in the genre, and Mndsgn has established sounds that he could claim his. The songs here feel old school and futuristic. They respect Prophet’s legacy, as well as enhance the next steps in his musical journey. The songs here speak of the same topics but elude different sensations. This type of album would be hard to replicate as time comes, which assuredly makes this a suitable project in Stones Throw’s archival enclave.