Bee Mask

Elegy for Beach Friday

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With its interplay of tension and release and electronic tones suggesting spacious darkness and points of light, Bee Mask's Elegy for Beach Friday could have easily been named after one of its other tracks, “The Book of Stars Vibrating.” Either way, this re-edited and remastered collection of tracks recorded over the course of 2003 to 2010 by Chris Madak is often fascinating. The dense, glistening drones of opening track “Deducted from Your Share in Paradise” could easily be mistaken for something by Emeralds' Mark McGuire; like McGuire and similar contemporaries, Madak is comfortable reaching back to the sounds of electronic music’s earliest days as well as those of ‘70s experimenters with touches such as the bubbling percussion on “Causes and Cures” and the evocative minimalism of “In the Karst Interior.” However, Madak is as skilled as any of his forebears when it comes to layering subtly morphing textures and moods. “...So That We Each Wander Through a True Elysium” begins an alternately tense and soothing industrial thrum like a huge generator in a wet, cavernous room; it continues to “Askion Kataskion Lix Tetrax Damnameneus Aision,” which tops it with chittering synths that suggest hive-minded aliens or insects talking to each other as the hum grows increasingly ominous. Along with dark moments like these and foreboding album closer “Scarlet Thread, Golden Card” are correspondingly beautiful tracks. “The Book of Stars Vibrating” bursts into twinkles that sound like a hundred music boxes playing at once, while the gorgeous ten-minute epic “Stop the Night” seems to shoot a long-wave melody into space, where it reflects and refracts into rays upon rays of luminous electronic tones. Elegy for Beach Friday sounds so fully realized as an album that it’s hard to believe this music comes from so many years and different releases, but this introduction to Madak’s work should have newfound fans looking for more.

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