I have seen some unbelievably great shows this year. One of my absolute favourites was back in July when Rites Wild and a rather unimpressive local act supported the great Bee Mask aka Chris Madak. Of course with any great show there is always great merch and I just so happened to get myself a copy of Elegy For Beach Friday before I left.
It is difficult to describe the experimental electronica that Bee Mask produces. It is fair to say that on this record, the foundations of the sound is rooted firmly in drone territory but infused throughout are Caretaker-style nostalgia, bubbling electronica, buzzing insect-like sounds, broad sweeping elegiac passages of sheer beauty, synth excursions and clouds of opaque and menacing drone. As an album, Elegy works extraordinarily well notwithstanding that it is a compilation of rare vinyl and tape tracks from 2003 to 2010. In fact rarely has a record had such an effect on me as this. It is one of those records that seeps into the consciousness and is an almost perfect rendering of great electronica that explores beauty, menace and sadness. Bee Mask has a new EP on Room 40 and his new Spectrum Spools release of new material arrives in a few weeks. Don’t be surprised to see either of those reviewed hear soon. Elegy is mesmerising and fantastic.