KUTHI JIN “Bee Extinction” C47 (Artetetra)

Once the bees die, then the end is in sight for the rest of us. The honeybee is a keystone species, meaning that if you remove it from its ecosystem, the ecosystem it’s a part of will descend into chaos. Therefore, bee extinction is a bad thing from an environmental perspective. Bee Extinction, on the contrary, by Kuthi Jin, has very little to do with the ecosystem. Except for the fact that it’s a reflection of it in sound form, that is. Actually, it does a pretty good job getting right in on the base level of the ecosystem and exploring, poking, prodding, experimenting with the surroundings and agents and participants etc. We’re really treated to a bee-level trip.

Ostensibly an electroacoustic-ish noise jawn, Bee Extinction clatters with movement and vibrates with energy. That is not an unreasonable expectation when you’re dealing with bees, and there are moments throughout Bee Extinction that take on the unmistakable buzz of wings bearing bodies laden with pollen as they make their way back to the hive. But the idyllic meadow-bound life of the honeybee gets turned on its head as the tape progresses, especially the third and final suite, “Plague | Herd 3 | Propeller,” which catalogues destruction in a series of abrasive passages. It’s clear by the end of it that the bees are no match for the march of human progress, and they’re shredded in the, ahem, propeller of innovation. Too bad really – I’m quite partial to honey.