Bee Mask: Elegy For Beach Friday (Spectrum Spools/Editions Mego)
Bee Mask’s album has been in rotation in my house for some time now. I’ve had a hard time writing about what it is that I find so compelling. It’s a gaseous, vague album of synth music that often rolls in like a fog and then lingers indefinitely. I like that Chris Madak combines noodly synth arps with sounds that are more atmospheric and nebulous, so that it doesn’t just sound like synth nostalgia but rather a shape-shifting entity all its own. In many cases tracks begin with a dense field of drones but distill into something clearer, less harsh, more soothing, particularly on pieces like “Askion Kataskion Lix Tetrax Damnameneus Aision” or “The Book of Stars Vibrating.” It’s a very solid entry into the Spectrum Spools catalogue, and one of my favorite ambient/leftfield releases of 2011.