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Album Review

by The All Seeing Hand

Muzai Records

Review Date
1st October 2013
Reviewed by
Nich Cunningham

Wellington enjoys a fine tradition of adventurous music making. It was for good reason both the Skeptics and Bailterspace made it their home in the 1980s and the All Seeing Hand exemplify this principal. They are a unique band that defy convenient stereotyping and they return with sophomore release Mechatronics - an atmospheric and expansive tour de force.

Comprised of expertly crafted layers of samples, synths, percussion and Tuvan throat singing, All Seeing Hand's music draws from a palate unlikely to produce cliché. The music slips between frantic intensity, atmospheric refrain and sparse bludgeoning chunks of sound. Reference points could possibly include Godflesh's early work or Brutal Truth's more contemplative moments. Yet these prove inadequate: All Seeing Hand is more expansive and encompassing, with greater contrasts and variations.  None of this is to suggest that Mechatronics is inaccessible. 'Lying Dead, With A Bar Of Soap', for example, is an Avant-garde pop song, complete with Apache sing-a-long - sure to be a radio friendly unit shifter.

The All Seeing Hand are a unique voice, which is rare. Side stepping many traditional notions of music making while presenting their own distinctive music personality; they are without peer. Mechatronics is a brilliant and thoroughly engaging work.


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