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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Meet Alan Bishop's New Egyptian Group, the Invisible Hands

Posted by on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Ex-Sun City Girls bassist/vocalist Alan Bishop (aka Alvarius B., co-head of Sublime Frequencies) has been spending a lot of time in Cairo, Egypt lately, and one of the fruits of his stay there is the formation of the Invisible Hands, a new band featuring Cherif El Masri and Aya Hemeda (both former members of the Egyptian band Eskenderella) with drummer Magued Nagati. Guest players include Sam Shalabi (Shalabi Effect/Land Of Kush) on oud and Mohamed Medhat on violin and viola.

The Invisible Hands' self-titled 11-track album comes out on Bishop's Abduction label March 19. You can get a preview of it above with the song "Soma." A buoyant orchestral psych-pop nugget, this is one of the most straightforwardly catchy tunes in which Bishop's ever been involved. The coda's a gorgeous, upliftingly glum piano/acoustic guitar/strings meditation. I don't know if anyone saw this coming.

Press release after the jump.

The Invisible Hands is the English translation of the band's original Egyptian Arabic name: El Ayadi El Khafeyya. Taking almost two years to create amidst an unusual and challenging backdrop, this is the brand new project of Alvarius B. (Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls). Eleven highly-crafted new songs projected through his typically dark lens of songwriting and a band of brilliant musicians from Cairo, the premier, self-titled CD version of this album is the English language vocals edition (see below) delivered in AB's patented sinister style; drenched in lovely psychedelic folk arrangements and vocal choruses with a nod to what could have potentially been an album that surfaced decades ago but instead found its way into the future superimposed over historic and tumultuous times in the center of the Arab world. The group was established during the summer of 2011 and the album was recorded in Cairo in May of 2012. Band members include Cherif El Masri and Aya Hemeda (both former members of popular Egyptian group Eskenderella) with drummer Magued Nagati. On a handful of songs, several other players from the Cairo scene are featured including Sam Shalabi (Shalabi Effect/Land Of Kush) on oud and Mohamed Medhat on violin and viola. All tracks written and sung by Alvarius B. in English. Note: This is the English language CD version of the album. An Arabic language CD version will only be available to purchase in the Middle East. Both English and Arabic language versions will be available for digital download and both versions together will be available as a limited edition 2LP in the very near future.

01. The Same
02. Dream Machine
03. Hitman Boy
04. Dark Hall
05. Black Weather Shoes
06. Soma
07. My Skull
08. Nice On Ice
09. Black Blood
10. Summer Rain
11. Death Zoo

- Debut album and new project from Alvarius B. (former Sun City Girl, Alan Bishop).

- Recorded in Cairo, featuring musicians Cherif El Masri, Aya Hemeda, and Sam Shalabi.

- Alvarius B. sings 11 new tracks presented through his dark lens of songwriting.

- Drenched in lovely psychedelic folk arrangements and vocal choruses.

 

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levide 1
I asked Alan about that song, as it sounds suspiciously to me like a number out of Bertolucci's "Partner". He told me he didn't want to do it because it sounded "too Creedence Clearwater", but that the band loved it. So he put the Morricone arrangement on it "to fuck it all up". So there you go. This is a really good set, some of the songs work incredibly well in Arabic, some are better in English, so the 2LP is the way to go. (There's also gonna be a Record Store Day 7", check it).
Posted by levide on February 26, 2013 at 12:23 PM · Report this

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