|12" Vinyl Edition
Masks is Sopchek's first album for Cosmic Sounds and is entirely dedicated to Africa, particularly Kenya and Tanzania. All the tracks are based on original local stories and are almost short documentaries. Sopcheck's approach to African music is the most original I've heard so far. Although everything sounds so fresh, full of Jazz, Funk and even Drum'n Bass, he succeeded to preserve the roots and original African atmosphere. None of the styles is prevailing. Everything is blended so nicely into original and from now on very recognizable Sopchek's style.
Zeljko Kerleta 2000
WIRE /March 2001/ page 36 - Global
File under clever bastard beatnik shit, or something this is an oddity. Sopchek is throwing a virtual party in his studio just outside Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He has invited African pygmies, a witch doctor, half a Kenyan tribe, a jazz group with brass section and a set of pedigree drum loops. In other words this is a solo album cunningly assembled from scraps and samples by a producer who loves jazz and African music. Now my theory is that if you work in this way, your music will ultimately be banal, but Sopchek has so much flair and sheer, big hearted vibe that he comes within a hair's breadth of proving me wrong. The album is infectious. It's a world away from the unspeakable Deep Forest. Perfect for your next loud party, especially if you're inviting clever bastard beatniks. (Clive Bell)
JAZZ AT RONNIE SCOTT'S / no.129, March/April 2001/ 'Making Waves' on page 10 /
Back to Africa: Unbelievable vibe coming direct from Eastern Europe via Belgrade thanks to Zeljko Kerleta's Cosmic Sounds London label. Alexander Sopchek's African-inspired Masks stops you in your tracks. The briliant sampling is taken from just two jazz albums. Spot the George Benson played backwards. (Chrissie Murray, editor of Jazzwise)
DUSTY GROOVE AMERICA
A wonderful crossover of styles -- recorded by Yugoslavian producer Alexander Sopcheck, but influenced strongly by mode of African rhythms, all filtered through a European remix sensibility to give the record a fresh modern sound. There's a heck of a lot of percussion on the set, all looped and layered, in a mode that we might call "downtempo Afro Funk".