Sun City Girls’ Alan Bishop announces album with new project The Invisible Hands, blows minds with Zen koan

Sun City Girls' Alan Bishop announces album with new project The Invisible Hands, blows minds with Zen koan

“What is the sound one hand clapping?” asks the traditional Zen koan. “What is the sound of two hands that are totally invisible clapping?” asks Alan Bishop, he of Sun City Girls, Alvarius B., and Sublime Frequencies, to the collective gasp and then stunned silence of pretty much everyone within earshot. That’s right, Alan Bishop just blew your mind.

Pull yourself together. Like with all good koans, there’s more: Alan Bishop is gearing up to release an album with his new band The Invisible Hands on Abduction Records. The self-titled debut is an 11-song collection of psychedelic folk that follows in the more melodic footsteps of 2011’s Alvarius B. record, Baroque Primitiva (TMT Review).

Having trotted the globe in search of new sun cities in which to lay his head, Bishop’s new band hails primarily from Egypt. Aside from Bishop himself, members of The Invisible Hands are all residents of Cairo, including Cherif El Masri and Aya Hemeda of the Egyptian group Eskenderella, and drummer Magued Nagati. The Invisible Hands also features contributions from other players around the Cairo scene, including Sam Shalabi on the oud and Mohamed Medhat on the violin and viola.

Though Bishop wrote these 11 songs in English, the album was recorded twice: once in English and once in Arabic. The English version is out March 19. At first, the Arabic version will only be sold in the Middle East, though there are plans to make both versions available for digital download, and eventually package them together as a limited-edition double LP. Listen to the album’s first single, “Soma,” here:

The Invisible Hands tracklist:

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

• Alvarius B. (Alan Bishop):
• Abduction: