Al Lover
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Al Lover

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"Al Lover, "Black Magick Starter Jacket""

Our love for Al Lover was one of those instantaneous things that people claim happens. His Woodsist Remixed mix made us believers, even though Jeremy Earl of Woodsist was not down with his scuzzy breakbeat treaments and politely requested he desist. Al's refusal to give a flying F gained him further points in the cool department and we've been casually stalking his releases ever since. We even befriended the Bay Area producer and enlisted him to join our tape series.

It is our great pleasure to present "Black Majick Starter Jacket", the first single from Al Lover's Satanic Tambourine tape. In line with his production work with Fist Fam and remixes of Bay Area psych-rock, "Black Majick Starter Jacket" is blunt trauma to the dome of icky guitar loops over the sharp snaps of boom bap percussion. The track encapsulates the occult and druggy themes pulsating through the tape. If rap needs a Roky Erickson, Al Lover is the man with the MPC to stake that claim. - Impose Magazine


"Producer Al Lover Builds Hip-Hop Beats Out of Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall"

?If you thought 13 & God was an interesting combination of the worlds of hip-hop (Oakland's Themselves) and indie-rock (the Notwist), you should check out what Al Lover, producer for the Fist Fam (an All Shook Down favorite), has been working on: hip-hop remixes of songs by modern psychedelic/garage groups like Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Shapes Have Fangs, The Moonhearts, Jeff the Brotherhood, and King Tuff.

Lover's free new album, Reverberating Distortion, takes songs by 10 bands and remixes them into hip-hop beats -- though you really notice the hip-hop flavor of the tracks only when you play them on a stereo with sufficient bass response. The result is what could pass for an instrumental breakdown (or raveup) in each of the bands' live sets: a (usually) wordless groove that uses the nervy energy and trashy reverb of its source material to create something that doesn't quite live comfortably in the world of hip-hop.

Lover, who is originally from North Carolina, says the S.F. garage-rock scene inspired him to combine its raunchy sound with the hip-hop he was producing with the Fist Fam. He explored the idea in October 2010 with a pair of beats that sampled Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, the current project of rock mastermind John Dwyer. "John and Ty were both pumped on the idea from what I could tell," Lover tells All Shook Down. "John was super down, and granted me permission to sample whatever I wanted. Ty was a bit skeptical due to the mysogyny in most rap, but was down after I assured him we wouldn't take that route for the song (and has been super down for me to sample his tunes ever since)." The resulting double single ("All Mine/Part of the Game" ) features vocals by Gus Cutty of the Fist Fam, and gives a taste of how effective garage rock can be for making hip-hop beats. For the Reverberating Distortion project, Al reached out to bands at this year's South by Southwest festival, who were all happy to lend their music to be remixed. The result features garage/psych bands from Austin, Vermont, and even Puerto Rico. There are plans for another iteration of the project, with even more bands from the local scene, and perhaps a collaboration with New York garage group the Beets.

Reverberating Distortion is free to download at Al Lover's website; there are also streams of individual tracks, as well as links to the albums sampled. The only thing missing is a rapper willing to step up to these beats. We can't wait to hear that.
- SF Weekly


"Al Lover Makes Us Feel Good All Over"

Swirling together the fuzzy overlays of the present-day garage rock revival with bumpy, tripped-out hip-hop samples, Al Lover’s odyssey Distorted Reverberations does more than just live up to it’s name. The album compiles some of the biggest acts in lo-fi rock n’roll at the moment, including Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, dosing them up with some psychedelic beats. Expert cut-and-paste mixing gives each song a seamless, polished look, like a Miami plastic surgeon, leaving no scar tissue or rough patches in sight.

The ambitious producer operates out of San Francisco where he rips and remixes abrasive garage tunage into drippy nuggets of instrumental psychedelia. With a steady hand, skillful eye, and outstretched hand Mr. Lover is breaking ground. His mutative audio delights secure ties between two distinct facets of the underground music scene in addition, exhibiting an uncanny aptitude for beat matching. This is Al Lover’s first, formal go-around but I’m pretty confident it won’t be his last. Bathe in the head-noddin’ vibes, bros. - Mishka Blog


"AL LOVER – HEAVY HIPPIES – CHEAPDRUGSFREELOVE [ALBUM]"

Bay Area producer Al Lover is back on it this week with Heavy Hippies – Cheapdrugsfreelove, in which he continues to mine old garage-rock and psych records for gold and re-assemble them into jagged, reverb and fuzz-drenched hip-hop instrumentals. Turns out ancient pawn-shop guitars, savagely overdriven tube amps, cheap organs and manipulated analog tape sound great out of their original context, and Al Lover treats the material with respect, even reverence. He’s clearly just as enamored with Roky Erikson as he is with Clams Casino, making this unusual cross-breeding of psych and hip-hop more of a genuine fusion than a gimmick. You get groovy boom-bap tracks like “Walking Through The Sludge of Infinite Dischord” and “3-D Cave Paintings” sitting comfortably next to even more experimental stews like “Mind Melt 1400 A.D. Swag”, (did I mention dude knows how to title an instrumental?) and the net result is more often awesome than it is not. - Pot Holes In My Blog


"Remix alert: Captain Beefheart's 'Safe as Milk' album reworked by Al Lover"

The tributes and hat-tips continue to pour forth for Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, who died on Dec. 17. The singer and composer, who spent his formative years in Los Angeles, concocted strange rhythms and sounds and combined them in curious structures to create something resembling free jazz and rock. ("Free rock"?)

In the spirit of Beefheart's innovative work, producer/remixer Al Lover has created a thrilling, weird remix of Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band's first album, "Safe as Milk." On it, the San Francisco-based sample maven takes beats, guitar sounds, rhythms and random chaotic sounds and compiles them into instrumental excursions.

Writes Lover of the process: "Created in one week of all-nighters, heavy alcohol consumption, and paranoid reclusiveness the results are both gruesome and beautiful -- drowned with delay, beat to death by distortion, and hung out to dry on a tambourine. A heavy cloud cover of sonic bombardment cut by thunderous crushing drums, the album is a hologram of the original seen through a shattered mirror reflecting into eternity." (via The Daily Swarm)

The reworked full length is called "Safe As Milk Replica," and you can download it in its entirety here. Or if you want to sample it first, here's a taste. - L.A. Times


Discography

Ballin' Chains and B Movies (2012)
Heavy Hippies (2012)
Satanic Tambourines (2011)
Distorted Reverberations (2011)
Safe as Milk Replica (2010)
Woodsist Remixed (2010)
Reflective Flesh May (2010)
Chaos Theory (2010)
All Over (2009)

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Bio

Al Lover's is a sound that's hard to place. Equal parts 13th Floor Elevators and DJ Shadow, Al has created a new genre blurring the lines between Psychedelic Rock and Producer/Remix Culture. Combining crunchy drums, shaky percussion and chopped samples from genres unexplored by most producers, Al Lover has created a sound all his own. The antithesis to the highly compressed and synth heavy trend in current beat culture, Al Lover offers an earthy and loose approach that sounds more like you're listening to a DMT fueled psych band than a beat made on an MPC.

Starting with his 2010 release of an unofficial Woodsist Records Remix project (where he was swiftly given a cease and desist by the label) Al set out to build with current bands and sample their material. The end result was "Distorted Reverberations", an exploration in sampling the works of such rock acts as Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, not quite remixing but not quite your average approach to beat making either. Around this time he also released his "Safe as Milk Replica" project, a reworking of Captain Beefheart's first record which was highly praised on the web by The LA Times, The Daily Swarm and countless others.

A year after his first official release, "Satanic Tambourines" on Impose Records, his newest upcoming solo venture, "Space Magick" (scheduled for an early '13 release) expounds upon his previous efforts to produce harsh psychedelic chaos with nothing more than records and a Beat Machine. This time combining harsh overdrive, multiple layers of reverb soaked tremolo and complex tribal polyrhythms. with his latest project you can hear a man delving even further into the realms of off kilter, dark psychedelic vibrations made only of samples, electric guitars, and Occult Magick.

Live, either solo or with his band "Al Lover & The Haters", Al takes the stage with the intent of creating a sonic assault on the crowd. Combining crushing drums that cut through the layers of distorted guitar tones drowning in delay, reverb and tremolo with a heavy thunder cloud of rumbling bass, the intent is to open the listener to the ancient vibrations of the universe. Having been on the road for 2 regional US tours, as well as played multiple festivals (including Austin Psych Fest, for which he was asked to curate an official mixtape) this year alone, the dedication to the craft has been honed. Sharing the stage with the likes of Peaking Lights, Shlomo, Jel (of Anticon), Sun Araw, White Fence, Moon Duo, Sleepy Sun, Akron/Family, Salva and more, Al show's his versatility to exist in all realms of the psychedelic music community.