Mind Gone Militia: A Conversation With The Mind Gone Production Team

Ever since what some would call the “dissolution” of Odd Future, its members have really pushed themselves beyond that banner head and into a realm all of their own. All of the members of the collective have continued to shine without relying on the name that precedes them but none other are creating their own wave as a separate entity the way the dudes of Mind Gone are doing it.

Spearheaded by the legendary Left Brain and fellow executive producer LDog, the group has been putting out some seriously quality content over the past several years. Although Left and LDog might be two of the more prominent names when it comes to Mind Gone, there is a whole team of talented producers and curators that are really helping to shape their sound as well as their brand. I recently got a chance to link up and chat with their two in-house producers (sort of like a Mind Gone Militia), Maro Chon and Matt “Tartar Sauce” Dumas.

When we first connected on FaceTime to discuss their work on Mind Gone Vol. 2: Gone, never forgotten, we didn’t even get a chance to get to the music before we were talking gambling over the World Cup. Maro, originally from Vegas by way of South Korea, and I were laughing and discussing what bet we should place on the Russia V Spain game. I told him to put money on Russia, so let’s hope he heeded my advice! According to him, he’s not an athlete but betting on athletics is sort of a sport itself; so, in some sorts I guess he is an athlete. Although being from Vegas inspires his inner gambler, he doesn’t claim to know very much about the sports he’s betting his money on. It doesn’t seem to hold him back very much. After the brief story behind Maro’s gambling career, I asked him a couple of questions about his musical background and contributions to Mind Gone. When I asked about his history in production, he revealed that he was an alumni of Berkeley in Boston for guitar. As a fan of both acoustic and electric styles, he often finds ways to incorporate that into his production; although he said he doesn’t like to rely on that too heavily. Citing his influences anywhere from doo-wop, to soul, to punk, it’s clear when you listen to his work that he takes pulls from a multitude of sounds. Outside of his contributions to Mind Gone you can catch Maro on the road in one of his bands HO99O9 or Prayers with which he plays guitar and has gained notable traction. When he’s not on the road shredding it up you can find him locked in the studio honing his production craft.

Maro was actually already out in LA on other ventures before Mind Gone ever fully materialized and was hanging with Left and LDog before they officially put the stamp on the collective. He recalled back to their earlier days, “I used to be over at their crib and they would just walk around the house talking about Mind Gone Hospitals, Mind Gone Racetracks, and all this other stuff. It was a repeated thing and I remember being like ‘Oh, they’re actually serious about this’”, he said as he chuckled. From this relationship, once Mind Gone became a full-fledged project Maro was an obvious choice to bring on board.

The other half of the Mind Gone Militia production crew is Matt Dumas aka “Tartar Sauce.” Originally from San Pedro, he’s been honing his production craft for years by working with artists all over the map. I’m not sure where the name Tartar Sauce comes from, I couldn’t get that story out of LDog, but I did learn that there are about five different hot sauces at all times in the Mind Gone Studio. I had to argue my favorite Cholula be included in their top five, but they insisted Valentina was the go to. Aside from his name relation to the sauce, Matt has dripped a lot of it into his production craft if we’re keeping it real. He’s worked closely with a lot of the talent over at Goth Money Records such as Sickboy Rari (Black Kray) and even has an entire collab project on the way with some of their squad. When we first got to chatting, I asked if anyone had listened to Scorpion yet because it had dropped that morning and the whole gang was quick to dog Matt for having been bumping it. He admittedly was guilty of doing so, but he blamed it on his being with his girl that morning, we’ve all been there (laughs). When I asked Matt a little about his production process when in the studio working on Mind Gone Vol. 2, he said that it’s kind of sporadic. “Someone will start a beat and throughout the day different members will just sort of contribute a layer of flavor or two here or there and then at some point it’ll be deemed complete” said Duma. Sometimes the session will start and end with Left Brain at the reigns but sometimes it’s just Matt, sometimes it’s just Maro, and sometimes it’s the whole gang at once; but it’s always a volcanic outcome.

This new, second installation of Mind Gone Volumes has been in the works since pretty much right after the first one released back in Spring of 2017. The entire crew has been working diligently as a unit for the past six months or so to put it all together and apply the finishing touches on the project. Left and L-Dog told me they don’t necessarily have a specific direction they aim to go towards to expand the brand of Mind Gone aside from absolutely everywhere. They are putting no limits on themselves or the opportunities they will align themselves with. Like the group said, Mind Gone Hospitals, Racetracks, and more. And once you fall in love with this new installation of the compilation series you don’t need to worry, they are already game planning on the next years of Mind Gone Volumes to come. The squad plans on extending to Mind Gone Volume 2000 if they make it there. With Volume 2 containing contributions from the likes of Da$h, Larry June, Hodgy Beats, GODreamer, Jay Worthy, and more, you can only imagine what the future is going to hold. Plus the record is being distributed through industry giant Empire to only amplify the buzz this new addition is about to make. I know the gang mentioned interest in a Greedo Verse so maybe if Mind Gone 2000 happens we’ll get to see that! Do yourself a favor and check out Mind Gone Vol. 2: GONE, never forgotten when it drops July 12th, and stay tuned for more dope content from the likes of Mind Gone and Daily Chiefers. You don’t want to miss the special treat for MellowHype fans, now would you???

Mind Gone Vol. 2: GONE, never forgotten OUT JULY 12th!

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