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The Invisible Hands and Alvarius B (Alan Bishop)

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The Invisible Hands is a project created in Cairo in September 2011 by Alan Bishop with Egyptian musicians Cherif El Masri and Aya Hemeda. Bishop (AKA Alvarius B and co-founder of legendary US group Sun City Girls and the Sublime Frequencies record label), decided to move to Cairo in order to translate some of his songs to Arabic and create an album featuring versions of each song in both Arabic and English. This was achieved on the band’s self-titled debut double album recorded in 2012 and released in the spring of 2013. After releasing a single later that year, their 2nd album, Teslam, was recorded and released in 2014. From 2014-2017, the band was heavily incorporated into Bishop’s Alvarius B solo project recording 60 tracks which has so-far resulted in the release of the 35 song triple album With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven, released in November 2017. The Big Minute, The Invisible Hand’s 3rd album, is slated for release later this year. The group produces a folk rock psychedelic sound and sings in a variety of languages, from English and Arabic, to Italian, Indonesian, and Japanese.

Alan Bishop (AKA Alvarius B.) is a founding member of Seattle’s avant-garde and genre-defying Sun City Girls, whose career spanned 27 years and over fifty releases. His work in Sun City Girls, with Richard Bishop and Charles Gocher, alone stands as a testament to his fearless exploration of the outer reaches of composition and improvisation. As Alvarius B., Bishop has penned hundreds of his own original folk songs in a primitive “out” style that is extremely unique. And as an interpreter of other people’s work, his songbook includes hundreds of cover songs from the obscure to the very familiar. This body of work is informed by an obsessive love of the singer-songwriter genre, folkloric music from beyond borders, Italian film soundtracks, and an extraordinary sense of humor. Over much of the past nine years, Bishop has been based in Cairo, composing; recording new Alvarius B. material while simultaneously establishing his own Egyptian-based band, The Invisible Hands and joining forces with Sam Shalabi and Maurice Louca in the trio Dwarfs of East Agouza. His latest solo album was released in November of 2017; a triple album entitled With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven.

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