When we think of sample-heavy music, we tend to think in terms of hip-hop or danceable electronic music, though artists of all types have employed sampling over the years. San Francisco-based beatsmith Al Lover, however, makes sample-based music that is decidedly undanceable, trance-inducing, and more like a dose of DMT than Ecstasy.
Lover, who plays Limelight on Thursday, is a sound-collagist who creates deeply psychedelic song-sketches, using samples from all across the fringes of contemporary psychedelia in a way that is unique to his own vision. From unlikely remixes of psych-folk acts on the Woodsist label (like Woods, Real Estate, and Kurt Vile) to his three eclectic proper albums to his latest one-off single "NEUicide!," an inspired rumination on German Kraut pioneers Neu! and New York proto-punks Suicide, Lover has never met a genre that he couldn't incorporate into his remarkably cohesive and original compositions. He has often insisted that the psych music of today will be what the producers of tomorrow will sample—ya boy Al just happens to be way ahead of the curve.
On his Facebook page, Lover describes his music and process in one statement: "Taking drugs to make beats to take drugs to." Consistently hypnotic, unpredictable in the largest and smallest ways, and thickly-layered with the frayed edges of sounds from all over the musical map, Lover's creations are like dense sonic jungles that open up to us as battlegrounds for infinite vision quests and personal spiritual journeys. As the Earth continues its death, and less pristine physical expanse is left, songs like Lover's can become the new post-everything landscapes in which we discover, refine, and refresh ourselves.
Al Lover feat True Indigo, Cosmonauts $8.00, Thurs, Oct 6, 9:00pm, Limelight, 2718 N St Mary's St, ticketfly.com.
Support Local Journalism. Join the San Antonio Current Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.