It’s been a hot minute since we covered an Assemble Sound creation but this recent release in their Sunday Song series was too jarring to ignore. A unique collaboration between New York born, Athens raised, and now Detroit-based artist Alexander Vlachos (Greater Alexander) and synth darling (and Assemble resident) Nigel Van Hemmye (NYDGE), “Mask” is a mystic, misty and powerful exploration of internal and external duality. Showing masterful restraint, “Mask” patiently creates space between the music and the message, building to a perfectly composed panic attack of self-actualization and acceptance that the biggest questions may not have answers. Vlachos sings “There’s a space inside your head/That shuffles in a new beginning/Can you feel what you aren’t seeing?/What aren’t you seeing?/Let the mask come down” with a curious certainty. Directed by Jay Curtis Miller and produced by Corinne Wiseman, the video for the track, though featuring a rather literal mask, is a thoughtful marriage of calm and distress as it bounces from a muted tonal imagery of Vlachos being grabbed by pairs of mysterious hands to vibrant bursts of color, water and flames as the mask is removed, replaced and destroyed. Cleansing and confounding, “Mask” is both a sonic and visual confrontation that offers turmoil you can dance to.
Check out the stunning visuals to the existential crisis that is “Mask” below: