Al Lover

The 10 Best Bay Area Albums of 2015

Well, another year has gone by. Local music critic, Lindsay Stickney has made my job so much easier by using her discerning and well honed ear to choose her favorite Bay Area albums of 2015. A lot of these bands are friends and I am certainly fans of all of these artists so I was personally pleased with Lindsay's choices (which I had NO say in whatsoever).

I hope you will enjoy her picks as well. Congrats to every single band who put out music in the Bay Area this year. The Deli SF loves you all and we completely acknowledge that this was an amazing year for well produced albums and truly talented artists.

I love you all.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. May 2016 be more musically fruitful and inspiring!

The Deli SF Editor,
Jordannah Elizabeth

1. The Stone Foxes, Twelve Spells

Bursting, bluesy-rock vibes that make you feel less like you’re listening to a record and more like you’re singing along to gospel in a church of rock n’ roll, Twelve Spells delivers an experience. With tracks like “Cold Like a Killer”, we’re reminded of how good it feels to effortlessly sway our hips to a single-note piano and how refreshing a vibrating guitar riff can be for the soul.

2. Monophonics, Sound of Sinning

Kings of dark, slinky soul, The Monophonics’ Sound of Sinning is heavily influenced by the psychedelic rock vibes of San Francisco, providing a funky 60’s-70’s sound that takes you through a colorful ride of epic horns and funky, noir beats. Packed with gut-wrenching vocals, hazy harmonies and hammond organs, it’s easy to get lost in this record and drift away to tracks like “Falling Apart”.

3. Lee Gallagher, Lee Gallagher and The Hallelujah

Lee Gallagher’s typical folky, country roots are uprooted and replaced by a much more soulful sound layered with emotional instrumentation and howling vocals. In Lee Gallagher and The Hallelujah, we’re carried back to a delightful 70’s trippy wave of movement that prove that a simplistic sound is sometimes the most powerful.

4. Lila Rose, We. Animals.

Bass. Power. Killer vocals. Power. We. Animals. is like your sweetest nightmare induced with passion, heartbreak, manic, and complexity. With whimsical beats, haunting vocals, and tribal drums, Lila Rose delivers an intense, sexually-charged album that lays its foundation on raw aggression. Tracks like “Tracking” will abruptly awaken the pissed off, sensual warrior in you.

5. Growwler, Even Tenor

Easing in with delicate acoustics and finishing with an aggressive bluesy piano sequence, the opening song “Long Hair, Short Wits” is a true ode to the San Francisco rock n’ roll scene and is a testament to the effectiveness of brilliant, simplistic instrumentation. Even Tenor is like a nostalgic storytelling that makes us miss the moments that we never lived for.

6. Ice Cream, Ice Cream

Sweet, sweet, classic garage rock. Ice Cream’s self-titled album forces us to remember the reasons we fell in love with rock in the first place. Dirty, honest guitar riffs, quick, aggressive drum patterns, weaved into gritty barely-there vocals, Ice Cream is the perfect combination of garage sound and punk attitude that will pour gasoline on that flickering fire inside.

7. Al Lover, Cave Ritual

The great Al Lover does it again. Cave Ritual is in fact exactly how it sounds: eerie, tribal, smoky, and sensual to the extreme. Textured beats layered with staccato samples give the album an imaginative sound that catapults us into a contemporary, psychedelic rock trance. Every track will take you to the sun, the moon, and then back again. Twice.

8. The Union Trade, A Place of Long Years

The Union Trade are masters of melancholy and it couldn’t be more gorgeously displayed than in their album A Place of Long Years. The subtle, aching cello atop the fluid, chilling piano make songs like “Svalbard” an escape from reality into the ethereal landscapes of your most tragic, stunning daydreams.

9. Guy Fox, Night Owl

Guy Fox are a musical enigma: elements of funk, old-school jazz, indie, pop, and rock can all be traced at different peaks in their most recent album Night Owl. Whether it be the use of timely instrumentation or charming lyricism, Guy Fox delivers an indecisive yet addicting sound. Tracks like “The City Line” create a steamy, devious tone portraying San Francisco as a playground designed for the mischievous.

10.Toro y Moi, What For?

Light, energetic beats coupled with smooth, romantic vocals make What For? the soundtrack to your hazy, yellow summer nights. Toro y Moi is known for his synthy-pop sounds, but the release of his fourth album slayed all former musical confinement. Tracks like “Lilly” walk the perfect, delicate line of modern synth and 60’s psychedelic rock, transporting you to a blurry wonderland that you’ll want to lay in for a while.

   

Al Lover Gears Up to Release Zodiak Versions

The ever talented San Francisco producer and DJ, Al Lover is releasing a new album entitled, Zodiak Versions. He´s one of the best and brightest young mixologists and we´re always pleased to learn when his new music surfaces!

Zodiak Versions - a twelve track LP. The brain behind it, Al Lover, has said it best with his own words: It´s all about the groove! Hiphop, bass, kraut, rave culture, psych, dub, tribal music - it´s all there in Al Lovers universe. But that´s not the main point. Neither is the fact the he´s been compared to artists and producers like J-Dilla, Edan, Sun Araw and Gaslamp Killer. Or that some of his remixes includes artists like Goat and White Fence. The interesting part of Zodiak Versions is the entirety of the album. A fluid listening experience. The samples, looping and editing will make you zone out. Beats and ambient bliss for all the dubbed up heads out there!

Zodiak Versions will be released on vinyl/Digital world wide the27th of November through Höga Nord Rekords (Europe) and The Reverberation Appreciation Society (North America) But is available for pre-order today atshop.hoganord.com

   

Sleep Sun Plays Brick and Mortar with Al Lover and Banquet 12/17

San Francisco based psych blues band, Sleepy Sun is playing an all ages show at Brick and Mortar Music Hall on Wednesday, December 17th. Sleepy Sun is a passion drenched veteran psych band whose music is moving and addictive. Bay Area staple, DJ Al Lover will be performing his music as well. His mixes fill a room like a psych experimental mist that washes over your ear drums and senses. SF based hard rock band, Banquet will be opening the show, making this line up a collection of heavy vibed musicians. Therefore, we think you should indulge in this upcoming show and let the experience speak for itself.

   

Album Review: Al Lover - Sacred Drugs

There is such a thing as a psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll DJ. Al Lover has proven that before, and his newest release, Sacred Drugs proves it again. This debut solo LP  blends fuzzed-out, psychedelic and reverb-drenched layers with driving rhythms and trance-inducing melodies that could have you staring at the visualizer on your computer's music player all night long.

The album's first single, Super Strength (Power Plant) featuring Morgan Delt could fit perfectly to a smoke-filled bar scene from some 60s foreign spy film (the entire album would make a great soundtrack to such a film). The track starts with droning synth layers giving way to a slow beat while Delt’s vocals layer over like this city’s thick morning fog.

The track that stands out the most is The Shadow Shadow Self Shake. It starts with a reverb drenched hip-hop inspired drum beat setting up for a solid and danceable track which continues for most of the song. However, just shy of the 2-minute mark in the track, a distant and fuzz riddled guitar makes its presence known adding more depth to what was already a solid track.

Sacred Drugs is sexy and eerie. It is everything you would want to hear in a club or your bedrooms with a drink in hand. The 14-track album dropped on Oct. 9 on vinyl via Psych Army Intergalactic and Crash Symbols (cassette). Love on it. -Skyler Warren

   

Al Lover Fryborg Vampire Slayer Rancho Shampoo and DJ Primo Play Milk Bar - 5/22

The Milk Bar in San Francisco is hosting a supreme night of experimental electronic music tomorrow, May 22nd. Local psych mixologist, Al Lover has made a name for himself by creating eclectic psychedelic soundscapes and curating the exclusive and official mixtapes for Austin Psych Fest.

Castle Face Records artist, Matt Jones of Male Gaze will be spinning analog synthesized audial creations, which will probably sound more odd than we can describe. Vampire Slayer and Rancho Shampoo are both electronic experimentalists who are based outside of SF and DJ Primo, another local DJ will add to the anticipated flavor of this line up.

This show is made up of an intensely atmospheric collection of talent. If you're a voyeur of strange parties where you'll have no idea what to expect, this is the event for you. All your creepy psych noise dreams could come true, so we recommend you attend this show at Milk Bar SF tomorrow night and have some fun. -je