Al Lover takes the splice-tastic production techniques of a hip-hop beatmaker and applies them to the sonic domain of psych-rock, creating an interesting effect. His Cave Ritual LP last year was much enjoyed, but apparently Lover thought he could do better, as he’s decided to Redux it with an even newer approach. On Stolen Body.
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- Cave Ritual Redux by Al Lover
7/10 Robin Staff review, 19 August 2015
Yelping into an echoed mic today is Al Lover, who according to press boasts has been melting down the elixirs of hip-hop beatmaking and farout psych rock into one magic potion, making his ‘Cave Ritual’ record record that little bit less kosmische. In actuality, he starts out sounding kinda like Avey Tare screaming at a disinterested Panda Bear across the Animal Collective factory floor; feral, repetitive and freaky, the record slowly builds up layers from a feral starting point. Bass booms from outside the room as rhythms interlock indoors, like Al Lover is taking the screaming disciplines of freak folk and trapping them in a room where the walls are closing in.
It’s an interesting sound, and it suggests that Al Lover is a great maintainer of abstract sounds: he can bottle up his weird, often ugly music and make it feel danceable. The psychedelic riffing of “Broken Binary” is given a setting of industrial beats -- like pylons hi-fiving -- that proves Lover’s streak for weird and wild beatmaking. The track is as off with it as Anton Newcombe is when he starts swirling, but it never loses sight of itself, instead feeling like a psych rock track that’s reached its climax to begin with and is just steadying itself.
This is a gnarly second take, making ‘Cave Ritual’ sound woozier and whackier, and more vignette like; considering the rather steadfast, fatiguing nature of the original record, this one is full of near-danceable nuggets. “Nice one, my lover”, says Laurie in his delightful West Country coo.
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