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Beekeepers - Apiculture

  by Lisa Torem

published: 8 / 6 / 2011

Beekeepers - Apiculture
Label: Jalapeno Records
Format: CD


Flawed, but frequently thrilling trip hop on debut album from Bristol-based duo, the Beekeepers

The Bristol duo, Scott “Boca 45” Hendy and Parker, call themselves the Beekeepers. Both are DJs who are influenced by the likes of the Wild Bunch, Portishead, Massive Attack and the dubstep genre. To help out, with their debut CD, ‘Apiculture’, they enlisted the talents of popular British rapper Mystro, two local singers, Sarah Scott and Hazel Mills and the gifted string arranger, Ben Salisbury. Hendy, in addition, mixes for Malachai (Domino Records) and produces indie band Diego & The Dissidents. Parker cut his teeth on his self-titled album, ‘To Eternity’ and has also released tunes on Jalapeno, Bombstrikes and GoodGroove, and is renowned for ‘Where’s My Monkey’ a popular You Tube hit. The CD opens with ‘Sea Change’ which starts out with big, dirge-like chords and a mysterious bass line which is soon joined by mumbles and spasms of percussion. It is a sweeping, cinematic composition, gorgeous from start to finish. ‘So Long’ is comprised of sombre, sound bytes. "Little child, you’re much too young/Don’t be afraid of what I’ve done" captures the vulnerability and it is awash with a distinct R & B feel, too. During ‘Spring Forward’, Hendy’s baritone bellows over sounds resembling stretched-to-their limit rubber bands. ‘Queen Bee’ is a rap/reggae with a cynical chorus and a little Zappa thrown in for good measure. ‘To the Roots’ heralds waves of soul, though, the melody – if there is one – gets lost in the shuffle. The next few numbers are not quite as potent or well formed; ‘Watching’ is a bit hazy, except for the syllables, ‘Zonk Zonk’, but, then, ‘Circus Folks’ gives back some real energy. It combines the stirrings and strings of a lovely, folk song with whimsy: think Three Penny Opera meets the Dresden Dolls. It is really quite magical and, at the same time, disturbing. ‘Dark Ascending’ brings The Beekeepers back to what they do best: big, wrap-around sounds. Finally, the CD brings forth the title song: ‘Apiculture’ which falls a bit flat, compared to the others, but, there are some genuinely, affirmative moments here which more than make up for that.

Track Listing:-
1 Sea Change
2 So Long
3 Spring Forward
4 Queen Bee
5 To The Roots
6 Opt Chop Intermission
7 Long Way Down
8 Last Light
9 Watching
10 Circus Folks
11 Dark Ascending
12 Apiculture

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