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Al Lover- Cosmic Joke (2022, Fuzz Club Records)

Wrapping your head around this new Al Lover album might take some time. If only because of the many jigsaw pieces of interesting influences you have to put into the right place in your brain. Take the album title for instance, is it a reference to Klaus Schulze’s (RIP) band The Cosmic Jokers? It could very well be, the music does pay hommage to the old krautrock masters of the 70s. And at the same time it implements all kinds of other styles and flavors to the mix.

The rhythmic textures of this instrumental soup are definitely more triphop related, at times summoning images of DJ Shadow at his most trippy. The reverb drenched keyboards tell a different tale though, being more in line with the hippy artwork and the acidic imagery with its colors and many eyes. Al Lover is more of a DJ than a “band” in any traditional sense. He performs by himself with his set and many buttons and bleeps, often aided by trippy visuals playing tricks on your senses in the back. Then again, weren’t Moebius and Roedelius of Cluster proto DJs in their own right back in the day? Weren’t Neu!? They’re definitely also referenced on this album, while at the same time music like this wouldn’t be out of place in one of the more progressive hip bars on sunny vacation islands either.

You see why it is such a trip for anyone to fully wrap their heads around Cosmic Joke. Maybe that’s the beauty of it in the end; no matter how hard you try to cross reference it with something you might know or think you know, it will still be able to sound surprising and make you conjure up new and weird images you did not know you had in you. It’s potent stuff, and highly recommended for your head.

Al Lover, live

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