Bee Mask

Elegy For Beach Friday






Chris Madak's Bee Mask project is focusing on drone music, the kind of monotonous ambient sound that, if done right, is anything but boring, for the different layers transport various feelings which, when all played at once, exponentiate the emotional power of each track. Elegy For Beach Friday is on the opposite spectrum of the saying "less is more," as Madak comes up with towering elements in each track, so they all sound large and present. This is no background music, as every track in fact pushes itself to the forefront even on low volume. This album is a compilation of tracks made between 2003 and 2010. However, the respective age of each track is not guessable, for the production quality of each track is equally well.


The first track Deducted From Your Share In Paradise fades in rather quickly and reaches its peak volume after about 40 seconds and starts an ecstatic crescendo shortly afterwards. Its drone layers sound overwhelmingly positive and bright due to their crystalline dashing. The track is pressing and pushing, consisting largely of a single note. As it is common for drone tunes, their magic lies in their details, and thus, in this track, little melodies can be heard if the listener is careful to ablate each layer. A very good starting point of a positively tense album. …So That We Each Wander Through A True Elysium, track 4, is an enigmatic piece with high pitched sounds distantly related to dot-matrix printers plus windy swirls wafting over intense drones. The feeling this track evokes is of an ultimate nature – an elysium for sure. The title-giving Elegy For Beach Friday is the calmest and most laid back track on the album, its melody moves to the background. Glockenspiel- and cowbell-like droplets are clearly audible, a welcome surprise in regards to the otherwise intensely layered nature of this release. The end of this 2:30 minute piece compeletely lacks the drone elements. In The Karst Interior is the nature track, featuring synthetic bird calls next to a majestic one-note drone that shifts in the middle of the song and becomes a sinister motif, swallowing up the bird noise. Yet another change takes place in the last third of the song as the sinister motif is taken over by a smooth, hazy electric guitar which in its grandeur is reminiscent to Gas's Königsforst album released in 1998. The track is followed by Stop The Night, the most beautiful track thanks to its facilely crisp five-note loop on top of a deep drone that is pushed to the background by another bright and jovial drone. At the end of this long piece, the main loop is echoed and hence becomes fuzzy, letting the track end in true drone fashion where the distinctive parts become one. Stop The Night is able to induce a mind-blowingly positive and reliant mood. The track is intense but yet floating in lightness.


The album is recommended for fans of drone Ambient who like the occasional change and addition of bright elements that cause a more positive mood in an otherwise contingently eschatological genre. Besides, Elegy For Beach Friday is of the melodious kind, hence no track is truly alienating or appaling; no matter the mood Madak tries to evoke on each respective track, it is for sure intense.



Further reading:

Chris Madak has set up a Bee Mask Tumblr Blog with lots of tour pictures and release information. Just look at the beautifully colored vinyl version of Elegy For Beach Friday which he posted on there.





Picture of the now sold-out vinyl version of Elegy For Beach Friday, as photographed by Chris Madak himself.












Ambient Review 004: Bee Mask – Elegy For Beach Friday (2011). Originally published on Dec. 18, 2011 at