AL LOVER “Interference Patterns”
(Crash Symbols)

This tape took me by surprise, for more than one reason, but mainly because I initially read the artist’s name as Ed Lover, not Al Lover, and I was expecting a Dr. Dré (this one, not that one) remix of “The 900 Number” and some witty Yo! MTV Raps banter. But this is Cassette Gods, and Crash Symbols knows better, even if I don’t, so forget all that – but hear the drummer get wicked anyway.

Now that you’re all smiling with wonderful memories of the Ed Lover Dance (if you’re my age, at least), you can sit back and strap in for some in-your-face tuneage of a completely different stripe. You’ll smile still, sure, but it’s more of a holy-crap-I-hope-this-roller-coaster-doesn’t-fly-off-the-track kind of smile. See, Al Lover’s not in a great mood on Interference Patterns, nor does he really have any reason to be what with all the hell-in-a-handbasket talk and blatant garbage attitudes so pervasive among us modern folks. Well, heck, Al Lover has had it, everybody – had it right up to here. Gone is the fun-loving hooligan who thought “All Over” looked cooler as “Al Lover”; gone is the scamp who decided to smash together Neu! and Suicide for a release called Neuicide!; and gone is the SF psych-hippie who thought so much that Woodsist was the bee’s knees that he dedicated an entire remix album to the label. So what does his thought process consist of these days? Turns out the answer’s right in the title of this tape: Interference.

Indeed, each instrumental track is titled according to something that just halts life right in its tracks and forces you to deal with it: the title track, “Dualism Disrupted,” “Frenzy Zone,” “Gravity Is a Problem,” etc., not least of which, of course, is the unwieldy mouthful “Existential Crisis in Paris France on the Earth Planet September 2015 AD.” It’s not a stretch, either, to remind you that the Neuicide! sound still holds sway over the entire thing – imagine that: tense, inadvertently dosed, totally paranoid, and loving every minute of the noir state of rapid collapse going on around you. Al Lover knows that this is exactly what’s happening to you as you listen to Interference Patterns, and his gleeful mirror of total despair is an entire paradox that’s impossible to force yourself away from, not least because he kind of follows you around with it so that you’re an acute-angled turn from facing your horrible self and the horrible world at almost every second. And by closer “Hellucinations,” he’s pretty much just smacking you in the head with it – the mirror will smash eventually (it has to), along with your sanity.

Al Lover
Crash Symbols

-- Ryan Masteller