Monday, November 28, 2011

Ssg special - Bee Mask

One noticeable trend over the last year or so is that people are becoming more aware of some very creative and inspiring music emerging out of the synth / experimental / drone (tape) scene. Spectrum Spools - a sublabel of Editions Mego - has been central to this process by introducing some of the best of this music to a bigger audience. And one artist it brought to our attention is Bee Mask, who has had two standout releases on the new label: "Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico" and "Elegy For Beach Friday". His sounds are expansive, wandering and totally captivating. When listening to the music you are quickly transported away to the weird and wonderful world of Bee Mask. I strongly recommend checking both of these releases, and I am really looking forward to the next one on Spectrum Spools in 2012. The mix that Bee Mask has put together for us creates a similar feel as much of his music - there is plenty going on here, but not in an overly messy way. Ordered confusion. Or perhaps confused order. Something like that. And much like the Motion Sickness of Time Travel mix we had earlier this year, Bee Mask introduces us to a wide range of artists and sounds that many of us might not be aware of. The mix is a captivating trip...

This is what Bee Mask had to say about the mix:

"There are few things I enjoy more than hearing my tracks in other peoples' mixes (a pleasure which mnml ssgs has already afforded me on a couple occasions) perhaps because it offers the furtive thrill of coming as close as one can to knowing how the work sounds to someone else, or at least what sort of sense they make of it and where it sits in their internal taxonomies. Making a mix like this one, then, seems to me to be about pulling back the proverbial curtain and showing off a bit of the infrastructure -- the dream architecture of half-baked theories about how all these tracks fit together and form preposterous, impossible objects in the mind.

Insofar as this mix has a theme, it's that nearly all of the material came my way through trades with other artists and labels, either in person or through the mail. I love having this sort of exchange in my life for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that it makes legible a unique and wonderful set of aesthetic connections that do not necessarily appear in any other way. The records that show up on one's doorstep unannounced or are handed off by old friends at shows and parties form an enormous, intricate, and ongoing potlach -- a parallel universe alongside the universes of, say, fifty cent water damaged electro 12"s from West Philly sidewalk sales, bootleg disco singles purchased on the upper levels of head shops, improbably horrendous demos discovered while auditioning every unlabeled cassette in a thrift store, etc, etc, etc.

It's very common now for people who care about the culture of records to express dismay at the sense of being overwhelmed by unmanageable abundance, and while I sympathize with this sort of frustration, I'd maintain that we've been overwhelmed by an unmanageable abundance of records for almost as long as people have been making them, and that what's changed in the last ten years or so is more that we've been forced to reckon with the underlying fantasy that we might somehow ultimately be able to hear them all. The real challenge is still what it always was: how do we create ways of living with records that allow us to experience that abundance as a source of joy rather than one of grim obligation? This mix, like every other one, is a snapshot of one among an infinite number of possible answers."

Ssg special - Bee Mask

As usual, we will post the tracklist for this later on. For more on Bee Mask, check his hompage and soundcloud. If you are interested, there was a great interview with him recently on Digitalis. And for anyone in or near New York, I would strongly suggest you check out the "No Way Back" night at the Bunker on this Friday 2 December. The front room looks to be one of the biggest and best attempts at bringing these sounds into the context of a techno club night. Bee Mask is playing, along with Outer Space, Container, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Mountains and Ricardo Donoso. This really is an insane lineup. Definitely make sure to check it if you are in NYC. And for the rest of us, enjoy this trip from Bee Mask...


  1. Awesome, love "Elegy for Beach Friday" after discovering it by hearing "Stop The Night" in PvH's latest ssgs mix and being blown away by the simple beauty and power of its sound.

    Very much looking forward to checking this out, nice on Bee Mask and (as ever) ssgs :)

  2. i'll be at bunker this weekend (all things being equal).
    if anyone is there wanting a drink let me know...will be my first night in nyc

  3. Can't wait for bunker on Friday...this mix should help get me through the week, thank you.

  4. this mix is seriously out of control good! best mix i've heard in a long time. thanks much.

  5. just getting into this. i'd been putting it on in the background, thought i'd try it on headphones. wowser. this mix is beautiful, and drifting into and out of focus. those are only the first words that come to mind. sharpening, fuzzing, and expanding.


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