“International House Philadelphia will present a series of concerts featuring the creative work of the Sonic Arts Union, a collective founded in 1966 by composer-performers Robert Ashley, Alvin Lucier, David Behrman, and Gordon Mumma. The Sonic Arts Union pioneered many practices in the U.S. that have since become commonplace, including the use of live electronics, homemade instruments, and multimedia presentations. International House’s program will feature both new and historic music by each of the four artists, and additional concerts with local composer-performers Dave Smolen, Davey Harms, and Chris Madak, all active in experimental electronic music. Ancillary programs include screenings of Robert Ashley’s Music with Roots in the Aether, a series of video “composer portraits,” and his innovative “opera for television,” Perfect Lives.”
— International House Philadelphia : The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
3:16 pm • 10 June 2011 • 2 notes
ASR050 hit the doorstep today! Check an excerpt here.
3:54 pm • 8 June 2011 • 2 notes
ASR050, headed to distros this week! Per ASR:
ASR050 Bee Mask v. Envenomist split | 12” edition of 400, 2011
The final installment in the ASR “Versus” split series brings together two of my personal favorite artists for the first 12” vinyl release from A Soundesign. Side A finds Philadelphia sound artist (and Cleveland export) Chris Madak crafting a rich and versatile interlacing culled from seven years worth of electro-acoustic recordings. “In the Mise en Abîme” is a Bee Mask masterwork composed from the same sessions that produced the “Canzoni dal Laboratorio del Silenzio Cosmico” LP released on Spectrum Spools earlier this year. Side B bestows you with three deeply pensive pieces by Columbus synth auteur David Reed (Luasa Raelon / Brittle Foundries). Envenomist consistently produces a lush mixture of contemplation and distress evoking Abstract Expressionism and industrial decay in my mind. The artwork, is a simplistic and ethereal delight designed by Chicago artist Daniel G. Baird. Included within the package is a fragment of metallized polyethylene terephthalate formed into a topographical land map. The listener is encouraged to manipulate the form as a tactile exercise adding to the synesthetic experience of the record. Screen-printed at Superelectric by Benjamin Haehn and David Russell.
1:37 pm • 6 June 2011 • 4 notes
2x quick/welcome nods:
1. Canzo in Alex Smoke’s Music of the Month, right next to ANV, fam-style.
2. Simon Reynolds is feeling.
As ever, thanks! And in case you’re wondering, Elegy went to press yesterday, it’s getting absurdly hot in Philly, and I’m knee deep in tracking new jams and feeling out some tentative fall tour plans.
1:48 pm • 26 May 2011 • 1 note
"Elegy for Beach Friday" tests are in!
10:46 am • 19 May 2011 • 3 notes
…with Oneohtrix Point Never, International House, Philadelphia. 4/22/2011. I need a haircut.
11:59 am • 18 May 2011 • 3 notes
“No less intriguing is Bee Mask’s elaborately titled Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico I, a baffling and deeply addictive slab of synth machinations which, having originally been released in a limited cassette run last year, has now been pressed onto wax by the new Editions Mego offshoot, Spectrum Spools (curated by John Elliott of Emeralds). Admittedly, it can be a little hard to move for all the synth-based LPs currently clogging the ambient/drone scene, but this is one offering that really stands out, eschewing any semblance of new age worship in favour of a schizophrenic and at times incredibly aggressive approach, encompassing huge depth charges of juddering noise, warped drones and skittering shards of melody. More information can be found here”
— Articulate Silences, Ambient Sounds #8 / In Depth // Drowned In Sound
10:31 am • 29 April 2011
Bee Mask - Elegy For Beach Friday - Editions Mego
Coming soon and now preorderable here: a remastered 2LP retrospective, featuring new edits of fave Bee Mask trax 2003-2010!
10:19 am • 28 April 2011 • 1 note
“Much more interesting to my ears is the Bee Mask material. I was recently treated to a “performance” of Xenakis’ electroacoustic tape piece La légende d’Eer as part of the London Sinfonietta’s recent Xenakis season at Southbank Centre. It was a 50 minute piece of constantly evolving textures which pushed several audience members past their comfort zones, but was an invigorating listening experience for me, not least because it was particularly illuminating to see the parallels between his work and a lot of current synth music. Canzoni dal Laboratorio del Silenzio Cosmico is much in the same vein as this kind of electroacoustic experimentation, combining radiophonic tones with what are, I presume field recordings or found sounds. Split into two sides, the first side is the more overtly experimental of the two pieces, concentrating mainly on textures, while Side B is more mood based, combining the roughness of Side A with melodies and synths that recall Italian horror movie soundtracks, 50’s sci-fi B-movie themes, and even Italo disco towards its conclusion. It feels like a musical curiosity that has been liberated from someone’s attic, and is highly recommended.”
— Urlaubshits » Blog » Blogdrone #1: Spectrum Spools, Harald Grosskopf, Snoretex, Hatchback
11:44 am • 19 April 2011
“Bee Mask is an alter ego of Philadelphia, PA citizen Chris Madak (previously Cleveland, OH). Over a few years, Madak’s music has evolved from the cold, static, skeletal endless drones to a much smoother (and more diverse stylistically) entity. With an incredibly long and playfully unwieldy name “From a Will-Less Gigolo…” offers a travel through many different zones of experimental electronics, ranging from melodic suites to abstract acids in the style of Morton Subotnick. Side A begins with a majestic synth miniature, a synthetic symphony topped with a dreamy lead, which sounds like a sci-fi guitar soundtrack. Then the styles change at an almost kaleidoscopic pace, even though each side clocks at a little bit more over 10 minutes, it leaves a feeling of being much longer - each section is atmospheric enough to fully immerse the listener. The wall of chimes, a quiet, introspective melody slowly turns into cold, minimalist drone in the style of Bee Mask’s earlier releases like “Elusive Lunar Bow”. Once it dissolves into nothing but a slab of somewhat muted white noise, a sequenced bliss begins to emerge, only to fade again as the side ends.
The beginning of side B (both sides are untitled) is eerily similar to the beginning of side A and is a straight continuation of the synth workout at the very end of side A: a short kosmische sequencer-driven introduction gives way to an abstract soundscape with speech samples sped up beyond recognition, distant synth squeals and what appears to be echoed, sparse Roland TR-808 drum samples. This abstract painting of sound gradually changes into a chilling chime melody slowly fading into trademark early Bee Mask glacier drone ornamented by occasional analog bleeps and bloops. The tape comes to an end with a hazy organ suite propelled by short, needle-like sequenced notes. “From a Will-Less Gigolo of a Divinity to the Gore-Spattered Lion on His Own Hearth, Odysseus Becomes “Odysseus”” is a great step in Chris Madak’s progress- the number of different moods and style he can touch is damn near unbelievable and I feel in my bones that he can create something truly breathtaking in the near future.”
— Weed Temple: Review: Bee Mask - From a Will-Less Gigolo of a Divinity to the Gore-Spattered Lion on His Own Hearth, Odysseus Becomes “Odysseus” (Deception Island, 2010)
3:27 pm • 4 April 2011 • 1 note