Music Pioneer Ant-Bee Releases New CD Featuring Former Yes, Focus, Gong, Zappa, Capt. Beefheart, Utopia, Alice Cooper Members
Asheville, NCAfter a 12 year gap between albums, and fans holding their breaths, avant-garde music pioneer ANT-BEE, best known for recording ex-members of the Mothers of Invention and Alice Cooper Group together on the critically acclaimed 1998 release 'Lunar Muzik,' has finally released what could be considered the artist's masterpiece. Possibly the most unique and innovative album to be recorded in decades, ANT-BEE 'Electronic Church Muzik' is an exploration into the spirituality of man (and woman) in a steam-of-consciousness psychedelic trip. Featuring legends of progressive rock and classic rock, ANT-BEE's new opus boasts guest appearances by by Jan Akkerman (Focus), Peter Banks (Yes/Flash), Daevid Allen & Gilli Smyth (Gong), Michael Bruce (Alice Cooper), Napoleon Murphy Brock (Zappa), Zoot Horn Rollo & Rockette Morton (Capt. Beefheart's Magic Band), Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, Buzz Gardner, Motorhead and Jimmy Carl Black (Mothers of Invention), Moogy Klingman (Todd Rundgren's Utopia).
Ant-Bee is the brainchild of one Billy James. Formed through a series of musical experimentations in the recording studio back in 1987 in Los Angeles. In 1988, Ant-Bee were signed to Los Angeles record company Voxx/Bomp Records. The first Ant-Bee album was 'Pure Electric Honey,' and received rave reviews worldwide. Ant-Bee became an overnight legend in the European underground. The album also featured guest performances by Bob Harris (Frank Zappa) and Rick Snyder ( Captain Beefheart ). In 1990 the live Ant-Bee ensemble was assembled and gigged throughout Los Angeles to the astonishment of most audiences. Also at this time, while recording new material, the first Ant-Bee video was filmed Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree" which viewed in L.A and Canada. During this period a cover version of the unreleased Beach Boys song Do You Like Worms?" was recorded. Oddly through a bizarre turn of events this Ant-Bee version of the song was mistakenly played on a Beach Boys radio show as a rare Beach Boys demo!! It eventually surfaced on several elaborate European bootlegs as an unreleased Beach Boys studio outtake from 1966!!!! In 2004, ANT-BEE was mentioned in Brian Wilson's 'Smile' tour program, proclaiming the artist was the first to cover the 'Worms' track in question.
In 1992 the second Ant-Bee video was filmed The Girl With The Stars In Her Hair," a much more elaborate production. It was broadcasted worldwide to much critical acclaim. At this point Ant-Bee left Voxx records. An EP of new music was released in Germany and several magazines and European labels released rare Ant-Bee tracks. Also during this period Billy James/Ant-Bee began a long (and current) relationship with the original ex-Mothers Of Invention (Frank Zappa's first group). Thus began a series of recordings, filmings and gigs with these legendary artists (Bunk Gardner, Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black, Motorhead and Roy Estrada). The Ant-Bee was the first in over 25 years to record most of the original Mothers (sans Frank Zappa) together on CD!!! From this unique collaboration came the second Ant-Bee album 'With My Favorite Vegetables & Other Bizarre Muzik' (released Divine Records UK 1994). It also sold very well and received massive press and airplay worldwide!! For obvious reasons it especially appealed to Frank Zappa fans.
In 1994 Billy James relocated to the east coast to record the third Ant-Bee album 'Lunar Muzik.' Now in an elaborate 24 track facility, the third album soon become a true Ant-Bee masterpiece. Again the original Mothers make guest appearances along with the legendary Daevid Allen of Gong/Soft Machine, Harvey Bainbridge of Hawkwind and the original members of the Alice Cooper Group (namely Michael Bruce, Neal Smith) making 'Lunar Muzik' the most ambitious and pioneering project of the '90s!!! Also to promote the release of this album was the filming of the psychedelic video 'Child Of The Moon.' After a tour of the east coast with Michael Bruce, the Ant-Bee began work recording the fourth album 'Electronic Church Muzik' which promised to be an even bigger extravaganza then the previous album. Possibly the most adventurous album of the decade, after 12 years the new ANT-BEE album 'Electronic Church Muzik' is now available!