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The All Seeing Hand - Mechatronics Album Review

15 Sep 2013 // A review by Alistar3000

On paper, The All Seeing Hand seems like an unlikely mix; the combination of hip hop turntable wizard Alphabethead, punk drummer B Michael Knight, and trained Mongolian-throat singer Jonny Marks just seems like it would end in a sonic mess, but their second album Mechatronics shows that, in the hands of skilled musicians, the combination of sounds and influences works.

Like New Zealand’s version of avant garde rockers Mr Bungle, The All Seeing Hand’s songs are often experiments in combining various elements in new ways, to create interesting, and often intense, bursts of song, frequently with undecipherable lyrical content.

Which makes it all sound like a bit of a mish mash, and perhaps a bit too experimental for some people, yet it never actually crosses that line into all out experimentation. The songs are well structured and very listenable, with a dark edge to most of them; a heavy focus on the low end ensures that there’s also a high level of energy and drive throughout.

Sure, it’s never going to be music you put on when you’ve got your mates round for a BBQ in the sun (although it depends on your mates), but more something you’d put on when you want to be challenged a little by your music, while still having an enjoyable listening experience.

I was a fan of the group’s first album (2011’s The All Seeing Hand), but I feel Mechatronics is a step above that and really shows an evolution in their sound. It’s definitely one of my favourite local releases this year, and one of my favourite albums of the year.

Mechatronics
View Track Listing

About The All Seeing Hand

The All Seeing Hand are collaborators in conversion. Sound shapes minds, and the amalgam of turntables, throat singing and drums holds potent persuasive powers. The Turntables provide a dense weaved fabric of sounds and create a subliminal future from the carcasses of redundant songs. The Throat inhales your spent breath and mumbled words, and exhales harmonic rich vocals; while you struggle to hear the language your synapses are firing new paths. The Drums resonate with your heart, then beat it irregular; while your chest collapses with pounding toms, your brain pulsates with frantic snares.

The All Seeing Hand is comprised of Alphabethead (masterful Turntablist gestated in the Hip-Hop battle scene before branching into every direction at once, working everything from orchestral gamelan and Inuit folk music to post-punk and electronica into his compositions) Jonny Marks on vocals (a true sonic explorer, traditionally-trained Mongolian throat-singer and high-energy front-person) and B Michael Knight on drums (schooled in the energy of DIY punk and hardcore, tightly binding the whole sound together with driving rhythm that is equal parts chaos and precision).

These elements combine into a band of dissonant, dense beauty and intense live shows that leave observers in an ecstatic state of both wonder and confusion.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The All Seeing Hand

Releases

Fog & Debris
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Mechatronics
Year: 2013
Type: Album
The All Seeing Hand
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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