The All Seeing Hand

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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.

Alphabethead recalls how a Camp A Low Hum jam formed the foundations of the band…

The All Seeing Hand is comprised of: David Morrison (AKA 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 Ben 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).

The All Seeing Hand – Attack Of The Drones – NZ Musician, 2013 (Vol:17, No:9)

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AllSeeinghand[Transcript] “The genesis of cosmological Wellington party band The All Seeing Hand can be traced back several years, when drummer Michael Knight (often Hygiene) drunkenly bonded with veteren turntable scientist Alphabethead. Relaxing in a cafe on Cuba street, Knight reflects with a cheery grin, “We were outside Watussi Bar down Edward Street and we had a discussion about my girlfriend’s artwork. Good times.” Two years ago, out of pure mischievousness, Teen Hygiene spontaneously joined Alphabethead on stage during a renegade show at Camp A Low Hum “…almost giving the sound guy a hernia,” Knight laughs. The following year they revisited the collaboration, but this time on the roofofa bike shed, under sweltering sun. Having had such a good time playing together, Knight and Alphabethead started jamming regularly, leading to an improvised performance at a post-EQNZ fundraising gig for Christchurch. “It went really well, so we decided to do it again, and again, and again,” Knight explains with a happy chuckle. Bringing church choir-trained atheist vocalist St Cosmos into the mix, they began to decorate their soundworld of frantic drums and sludgy drone textures with Latin Gregorian chanting. “We thought it was a fitting style,” Knight enthuses. With Alphabethead fixated on, as Knight puts it, “The idea of taking industrial assembly line sounds and recreating them in an uplifting and beautiful context,” the band took his thoughts as a mission statement, working towards the cybernetic song cycle enclosed on their self-titled debut album. Recorded by Knight’s high school friend Vanya at his warehouse studios in Lyall Bay, Wellington, he says the record was “the easiest recording session I’ve done in my life.” Tracked live over three hours (“Vanya set up the recording gear, went out to dinner and left us to it”), the only hitch was a close call with fire. “Alphabethead put his shirt over a lamp to dim the lights. Halfway through the session the room started filling with smoke, and I saw his shirt glowing.” Coupled with astral artwork painted in oils by local artist James Flynn, the total package has a endearingly cultist feel to it. Working live with visual projection artists, giant backdrop screens and elaborate props, the trio are creating quite the experience. “We really like playing music that has a strong effect on people,” Knight concludes.”

Rhys Morgan talks to ‘The All Seeing Hand’ on the chaos and calculation behind their second album ‘Mechatronics’…

The All Seeing Hand’s Jonny Marks takes RNZs Sophie Yana-Wilson and Emma Smith through a master class in throat singing…

Cover/text sourced from Bandcamp & Amplifier. ‘Who’s Next’ sourced from Rip it Up, No. 346, April/May 2012. Used with permission.

Last edited: 14.07.16

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