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bee mask - Elegy For Beach Friday
Now available on CD for the first time... Editions Mego's Spectrum Spools offshoot, curated by Emeralds' John Elliott, has brought us some right gems to date, but none hit the spot quite like Bee Mask's Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico. Good folk that they are, the Spools are treating us to another album from the elusive American artist mere months later, and a double-LP at that. It's actually a selection of tracks culled from limited cassettes and CD-Rs released over 2003-10, personally chosen, "reimagined, reedited and remastered" by the artist himself, and, much like Mego's recent A Young Person's Guide To Mark McGuire, a godsend for us mere mortals who missed out on those tiny original editions coming out of the US underground. It's a staggering collection of synthetic psychedelia, Bee Mask (real name Chris Madak) creating bubbling, psychedelic ecosystems that at times sound too lustrous and lifelike to have been coaxed from machines. Some are sustained, drone-based pieces, others groan and crackle with below-surface industrial activity; others still hover in the most hypnotic, ritual ambient zones - electronic ragas for opiated alien beatniks ('How To Live In A Smashed State' is a telling track title). Perhaps most attractively of all, Madak resists the faux-naive, new age prettiness that's so commonplace and cloying in 21st century kosmische, daring instead to pursue an altogether darker muse. Very highly recommended.