Bee Mask – Elegy For Beach Friday (LP Spectrum Spools)

Beach Friday is a collection of highlights from limited cassette and CRr releases that Chris Madak has put out between 2003 and 2010. He’s reedited and re-mastered the pieces for this 2 x LP release on Editions Mego sub label Spectrum Spools.

Knowing whether or not these pieces are in chronological order would have helped as seeing the progression and development of Bee Mask as we went from 2003 to 2010 would be interesting. Knowing where he started from and how he’s got the sound to where it is now.

There’s a variety of styles going on here, as you’d expect from something spanning 7 years, the cosmic 70s Tangerine Dream type influence that seems to pervade a lot of newer bands such as Emeralds, Dolphins into the Future and Oneohtrix Point Never  is represented from the very beginning on “Deducted from your Share in Paradise,” with its sequenced synth loops widely fluctuating in and out of phase eventually resolving themselves into a gentle warm sound that lets you drift away to the end of the piece. In a similar vein is “Stop the Night” is a ten minute cosmic feast of arpeggios.  There are more industrial sounding pieces such as “Fallen Tree Thursday…” with its sinister downward spiralling drone and dripping water sitting ominously in the background and “Askion Kataskion….” With its deep brooding analogue held synth tone. There’s even in ”The Book of Stars Vibrating” a piece based around a heavily processed guitar that owes a lot to Fennesz’ Endless Summer.

There are a couple of tracks that I don’t think are as solid as the rest “In the Karst Interior” is a bit too heavy on the reverb and seems to lack body for me and “….so that We Each Wander…” is a very similar in style piece that I could also not get too enthusiastic about.

A whole slew of styles and pieces from Bee Masks career that serves as great introduction to his work and hopefully will encourage people to seek out more of his releases. DB