Fort Collins-based duo 2Mass will release their debut EP: Around the Sun tomorrow, Thursday, January 22.
2Mass is made up of Craig Babineau and Andrew March, who met in Fort Collins at the Hodi’s funk jam in 2017. Craig has lived in Colorado for the past 15 years and is a renowned drummer in the Denver area.
“Craig and I were grinding hard, taking a lot of gigs up in the mountains and playing in some larger groups,” said Andrew. “These were great opportunities, but we were driving back one day after a particularly arduous set of gigs and said, ‘you know, we could have a lot more fun as a duo, so we set out to write an album,” Andrew said.
Andrew has performed as a clarinetist world-wide and has been writing and arranging music since he was in high school. Today Craig and Andrew perform together under 2Mass.
Their new EP features six songs that fuse jazz and soul music with pocket, hip-hop grooves, and pop elements. Five of the songs were written for the most part by Craig and Andrew, and one song is a cover of Bruno Mars’s hit “Finesse.”
“Before the creative process could get into full swing, COVID hit, and we got stuck in quarantine, which sucked,” said Craig. “We couldn’t get together and rehearse, so we met every week on Skype and passed virtual recording sessions with various song ideas back and forth,” Craig said.
Around the Sun was recorded by Mike Kwiatek at Big K Ranch Studios north of Fort Collins and was mastered by Jason Livermore at the Blasting Room located in Fort Collins. Andrew and Craig spent five days at the studio, with three of them joined by nationally recognized trumpeter, songwriter, and recording artist Ryan Montaño who displays his talent and energy on Around the Sun.
Other talented musicians featured on 2Mass’s debut EP are vocalist Adryon de León, singer and songwriter Elise Wunder, Matt Grundstad, aka the Funkmaster rapper and lyricist Northside Nate. Adryon is featured on the song “Can You Hear Me,” written about Andrew’s late father.
Elise lends her creative lyrics to the song “First Time,” while Matt utilizes his energy to track “The Transition.” Northside Nate was the final piece that tied the album together.
“We were looking for MCs and rappers in Colorado and even booked studio dates with several of them, but nobody showed up,” said Andrew. “Nate just comes in and throws down some hard lyrics that really vibe with Craig and me on a spiritual level,” Andrew said.