Thursday, 30 May 2013

Usual Suspects - Killa Bees

Usual Suspects - Killa Bees (Renegade Hardware, 1999)

This track appeared on Usual Suspects' debut 12" and it's an absolute classic that still gets a great response today. It features a thumping beat which incorporates the Hot Pants break alongside a sick insectoid bassline that perfectly suits the track's theme.

It opens with the buzzing of a swarm of bees, the same sample that was used on 'Wings' by Krust, Die & Roni Size. As I previously suggested, this may be from The Swarm, a seventies horror movie starring Michael Caine. The original vinyl version of 'Killa Bees' features two pieces of dialogue from that film which were subsequently cut from the digital release and the Hardware XV album. Before the main drop you hear Caine stating: "The fact is we've been invaded by a mutant species of the African Killer Bee". Then during the breakdown a second bit of dialogue is used:

"Are you trying to tell me that bees killed a man here? I don't know what happened but I do know that thousands of people are stung by bees every year".

There's a Wu-Tang connection here as both these dialogue extracts appeared on the intro to the Wu-Tang Killa Bees' The Swarm LP (1998) which may have where Usual Suspects sourced them (have a listen here on Grooveshark). That album featured several members of the Wu-Tang alongside affiliated acts such as Sunz Of Man and Black Knights Of The North Star while Killa Bees is also a general term for acts associated with the Wu and is a phrase that often crops up in their lyrics.

'Killa Bees' has been remixed several times over the years with versions from Optical & Fierce, Konflict and Dillinja. It has recently been remixed again by InsideInfo for the forthcoming Reanimation EP on Hardware. Check it out below:

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