After a short walk along the main road from Dalston Kingsland, south of the station we came to the packed Birthdays bar and club. In its basement, crowds grew, waiting for the hip hop producer and chilled vibe creator Mndsgn. The LA based artist, also known by his birth name, Ringgo Ancheta, entered the stage with his good friend and partner in crime Ivan Ave.


This relatively small-sized venue retains a cosy feel. The bar accessible, the stage and speakers central, filled with lights and an open crowd for tonight's hip hop display. Ivan Ave demonstrated storytelling and intelligent poetry with his dynamic stage presence. Mndsgn stepped back as he glistened through each song, rapping his way, proving to be a skilful artist with a slick voice similar to Lupe Fiasco and a steady flow inspired by Nas or J Dilla.

Ivan Ave remained a confident performer whether promoting or working as a poetic technician maintaining the balance of the crowd and memorable support at the same time. Mndsgn stepped up - producing low kicks and dropping plenty of hard drum beats. The rowdy crowd loved it. I know I felt the funky samples and plentiful percussion up front.

Mndsgn jumped from drum machine to synth, sampling a great mix of hip hop hits and exotic waves of beats. The Roland sp-555 looped and sent great sounding soulful vocals - head knocking and chilled vibes guaranteed between this rhythmic pair. The audience danced away to a space of sounds. You had to appreciate the liveliness delivered by that DJ table. It was one hell of an experience. Mndsgn’s thumping sounds had us feeling like trees in the wind. For tasty drum beats, think Flying Lotus, Bonobo and Patrick Perkins. For more snappy samples and soulful sonic work, consider Mount Kimbie, Movement and Jamie xx.


Swirling chords, organs and polysynths reverberating along the basement. Guitar and atomic bass held together with explosive jazz hits - our chests fell to the ground. With a few more tracks to go, the duo danced to dark bass and saxophones; electronic beats covered the mix, layering over sudden cuts.

From start to finish, both kept a chopped freshness throughout. It's funny because this performance could have lasted all night long as an 8 hour Boiler Room set. Finally came the artists' toast, a huge thank you and one unforgettable performance. An extensive show with awesome sounds that stayed within the thick of the audience as we spilled out onto the street.

Head over to the record label Stonethrow for more amazing content, artists and music store. Follow and keep up to date with shows, projects and news between Mndsgn's Facebook and Twitter and Ivan Ave's Facebook plus social media. For more music, do check out Mndsgn and Ivan Ave's Soundcloud for additional content. Check out Mndsgn’s discography on iTunes here, along with Ivan Ave’s here. Also, for more information on the venue along with upcoming shows, here is Birthdays website.

Words and photography: Luke Cole