Ant-Bee

Lunar Muzik

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It took Ant-Bee, aka Billy James, three-and-a-half years to complete Lunar Muzik, an enormous psychedelic extravaganza. Guest musicians appearing throughout the album include all of the Grandmothers, plus members of Hawkwind, the Alice Cooper Group, and Gong. The music ranges from vintage psychedelic pop to experimental sound collage. The album opens and closes with what James calls his "grand tributes to the Mothers of Invention," the aptly titled "Snorks & Wheezes" and "Son of Snorks & Wheezes." Both tracks feature Bunk Gardner, Don Preston, Roy Estrada, Jimmy Carl Black, and Motorhead Sherwood, along with sped-up vocals, doo wop vocal harmonies, backward tapes, snorks, and snippets such as Black's trademark lines, "I am the Indian of the group" and "When do we get paid?" It is so Mothers-like it becomes disturbing. "Silicone Hump" is a Don Preston composition in the vein of the material found on the Mothers' 1969 LP Uncle Meat. "Love Is Only Sleeping," "Tears That Fall Unto the Sky," and "Child of the Moon" are psychedelic pop songs arranged following the purest tradition, the latter actually being a cover version of a little-known Rolling Stones B-side. The lengthier "By-and-By I Touch the Sky" (including excerpts of "The Swan & the Horseshoe" by Harvey Bainbridge and "The Platinum God" by Neil Smith) and "Diva Gliss (Are You Sirius?)" (featuring Daevid Allen and Harry Williamson) dive into atmospheric space rock. Described like this, Lunar Muzik may seem a bit scattered, but Billy James' extensive studio work and use of many recurring themes make it all hold together. This CD provides a strange statement on the musical heritage psychedelic rock left to the 1990s.

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