Known for his synthetic, bass-driven sound, Kuthi Jin’s noise triptych Bee Extinction seems to tell a story of an ecosystem in demise. Alluding to the increasingly distorted relationship between man and nature, “Kill the Queen” starts with a vast silence that is interrupted by shrill thumping- Jin’s incredibly textured, almost cinematographic sound design evokes a kind of post-apocalyptic void in which the only presence is the repetitive sound of dull machinery. Vocals are sparsely applied and distorted against modest drones, bleary noise and industrial clatter, the speed of which changes so audibly that new elements are introduced without us noticing.
Towards the end, consonance intrudes in the form of high-pitched vocals, creating a welcome relief from the dense and confronting sound textures-they merge with a woolly and impenetrable fog of noise, out of which repetitive thumping emerges, only to be accompanied by the sounds of a drone, the waving of a blade and what seems like the sound of a hectic swarm. Intensity is created in a confusion so tense that it seems like the different sound elements are in a battle for survival- only to then withdraw in favour of the same slow, repetitive thumping, that, remarkably, seems to disintegrate much quicker than it was constructed.
“Love Speed/Hart 3/Betrayal” is much more sonorous in quality: resonance, reverb and warped ambient textures partake in the same intricate fabric, sounding intimately more delicate than the start of the album. In the background, ominous qualities unravel, giving the impression of an impending storm- a continued thumping serves to generate a pulse, only to be alternated by synth and vocals that seem almost indiscernible.
On “Plague/Herd 3/Propeller,” these eerie, hybrid images are discarded in favour of a constructivist battle between rough and clattering elements, creating a claustrophobic aesthetic. Fast and alien rhythms intertwine with bleak vocals, bleary resonance and gritty white noise, invoking a merciless futurism infused with a rather unique vintage feel- which is why we get the impression that this album is not so much about the future, but rather about the futile and irrepressible state of things. What seems like the rhythmic clunking and shearing of hyperobjects is layered with distorted vocals and ambient sounds- which is how the familiar is made weird, and the weird is normalized to the point where it becomes Bee Extinction’s undercurrent. In creating a patchwork this disarming, the music scene gains exactly the kind of change modernity would benefit from: a creative solution, that is as unflinching as it is daring and eclectic.
by Juliet Hoornaert.