Masks is New York duo comprised of Max Ravitz aka Patricia (L.I.E.S, Opal Tapes, Ghostly) and Alexis Georgopoulos aka Arp (RVNG Intl, Mexican Summer, DFA, Smalltown Supersound). The aptly titled EP2 is (yes, you guessed it!) their second release, preceded by their Opal Tapes debut Food Plus Drug (II) — which gained support from Legowelt, Mount Kimbie and Boomkat — and a compilation appearance on esteemed Beats In Space 15 year anniversary 3xLP.
On paper, it might strike one as a strange duo. Ravitz’s work leans heavily on house and techno, but his recent work has been focused towards emotive melodies of IDM. And Georgopoulos has been busy creating minimalistic classical music for RVNG and most recently made waves with his critically-acclaimed album Zebra, which combined elements of 4th World and cosmic jazz.
All the tracks making up EP2 were made as live performances. No overdubs. Nothing “in the box”. Just classic hardware and a strong vibe.
Opener “In This Room” is the sound of a NY summer sunset, pivoting on a hypnotic rotation of orange-hued chords. “Emotional Response” displays a different side of the group. Combining a 909 with a piano tug, it could provide that perfect soundtrack to a cathartic cry on the dancefloor.
On the flip side, “In Another Room” is dreamy techno par excellence, before sliding into an acid chugg for the ages. Bookworms smears the sun of “In This Room” into a 4am whirl, all purple lights and mountains of fog.
The cover artwork features the artwork of Sanou Oumar, a recent emigrant from Burkina Faso, West Africa. He graduated from the University of Ouagadougou in 2007 and moved to the United States to seek asylum in 2015. He currently lives in the Bronx and works in Harlem, New York. In 2018, Oumar had his first two-person exhibition (with Matt Paweski) at Gordon Robichaux in New York, and in 2019 (with Elisabeth Kley) at South Willard in Los Angeles, curated by Matt Connors.