Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Reflections of Austin Psych Fest 2013: Part Two

welcome to Part Two of HEAD MEDICINE's Reflections of Austin Psych Fest 2013.  Included here are interviews with Psych Fest co-founder Christian Bland of the Black Angels, the festival's official filmographer Oswald James, and San Francisco dj Al Lover who provided the brain blowing instrumental between-band muzak that weekend.  

Part One features HEAD MEDICINE's official overview, testimonials from several of the bands that performed, links and music and a selection of amazing photography by Tom Gilmore of Foundwaves.  be sure to check out Part One HERE

thanks for stopping by, i hope you enjoy it.  follow HEAD MEDICINE on Fakebook for any updates.


20 Questions on the Past, Present, and Future 
of the Austin Psych Fest
Christian Bland of the Black Angels

HEAD MEDICINE wanted to get down to the bottom of things and learn as much as possible about the Austin Psych Fest, the current state of things as well as its past and future.  Christian Bland, guitarist of Austin's hometown psychedelic heroes The Black Angels and festival co-founder and co-curator with the Reverberation Appreciation Society, was gracious enough to answer all of our questions.  we are excited to pass them on to you.

The Past

Head Medicine:  How and when did the idea for the Austin Psych Fest originate and what were your initial goals?

Christian Bland:  The idea came about from touring the US for 3 years and wanting to invite all our friends' bands that we met along the way to Austin for a psychedelic gathering. We thought what better place than Austin, the birthplace of psychedelic rock n roll to have a psychedelic party. So in 2008 we held the first APF with 11 bands on the Saturday before SXSW started.

HM:  What are your strongest memories from the first Psych Fest?

CB:  We had 800 people show up the first year. We held it at a placed called The Red Barn Theatre which no longer exists. We thought that the Red Barn would be a permanent psychedelic rock venue where we could host all the psychedelic bands coming thru Austin. The very next day after the fest the owner told us to never come back again. The party got pretty wild, so i guess he decided to wash his hands of us.

HM:  Psych Fest grew exponentially in its first years.  When did you feel that APF was really starting to take off and find its true potential?

CB:  The 2nd year it expanded to 3 days and we were flying bands in who were just playing our festival and not sticking around for SXSW. At that point we knew we had a living, breathing organism, so the next year we held the festival the last weekend of April a month and a half after SXSW. We also had Sky Saxon of the Seeds play year 2, which was unreal being that the Seeds were a major influence on me and to have Sky play our festival was amazing.

HM:   How did the Reverberation Appreciation Society form?  What was its objective and how did it change the evolution of APF?

CB: APF was originally 5 members. The RAS was formed because one of the members wasn't very easy to deal with, and the 4 of us wanted to make the festival happen no matter what the circumstances.

HM:  Psych Fest quickly attracted some very impressive acts from the present and from the past, some who had not performed together in many years.  Which bands' presence do you feel really opened people's eyes and gave your burgeoning festival some serious credibility?

CB:  Having Sky Saxon of The Seeds the 2nd year was huge for us. We also had Texas psych legends The Golden Dawn perform their album Power Plant that year. We also had Dead Meadow, Wooden Shjips, and The Warlocks. The 3rd year, we had one of my favorite bands The Raveonettes headline the first day. The 4th year we had the king of psychedelic rock n roll himself, Roky Erickson perform as well as Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3 performing with Spectrum. Last years highlights included The Black Lips & Brian Jonestown Massacre. This year we had The Raveonettes back, along with BRMC, The Moving Sidewalks, The Growlers, and Clinic, just to name a few.

HM:  As APF grew, how did your initial goals evolve?

CB:  The festival has doubled every year. We've had bigger headliners every year. So, I expect the festival to keep growing and for the headliners to be bigger more popular bands. I'd love to have Radiohead, Beck, the Flaming Lips, and the Jesus & Mary Chain someday.

The Present

HM:  The Carson Creek Ranch was the ideal location for the APF.  How long has this venue been on your radar and what were your thoughts as you were planning and mapping the layout?  it seems like a fantasy location for a consciousness expanding music festival like Psych Fest.

CB:   We discovered CCR shortly after APF 5. We always wanted the festival to be outside in the woods with a river running through it with a place for people to camp, so we finally saw this vision come to life this year.

HM:  The between-band muzak was phenomenal, especially the instrumentals played from the main stage.  Who is in charge of putting those mixes together?  What were those instrumentals we were hearing and how do we get our hands on them?

CB:   That was DJ Al Lover from San Francisco that was playing all that awesome music between sets. Here's his website:

 HM:  There was a dizzying variety of bands performing at the Fest this year, all under the "psych" umbrella.  In your opinion, what is the common thread that unites all of these groups?  what is an example of a band that you would love to have play but are just enough outside of the psych spectrum that it wouldn't work?

CB:   All the bands are pushing the limits of creativity and experimenting, while the common thread at its' core is rock n' roll.
 I think Lee Scratch Perry is super psychedelic, but I bet if we had him on the bill, some people would scratch their heads and wonder why a reggae act was on the bill.

HM:   Back in March, Billy Gibbons reformed his pre-ZZ Top band and Austin legends The Moving Sidewalks for a single reunion gig in NYC.  It was pretty shocking when they announced a second and probably final performance as APF 2013 headliners.  How did that come about?

CB:  Their agent approached us and asked if we wanted to have them at APF.   We did.

HM:   One thing that struck me immediately about APF was that, unlike most other music festivals, it genuinely did not seem to be a greedy cash grab.  There was a limited corporate presence, the prices on everything from the admission to the food and merchandise were modest, and the free water refills was a brilliant idea that subliminally added to the good vibes of the weekend.  You obviously could have made more money, but chose not to.  Can you tell us a bit about these decisions?

CB:   We wanted to keep the festival as local and Austin centric as possible. We're focused on the music and the experience of the festival more so than making money. We're hoping to build a legacy and keep the heritage of Austin psychedelia alive. I hope APF lasts forever and that this is a new Austin tradition.

HM:  How are bands chosen for Psych Fest?

CB:   Rob Fitpatrick is our talent scout. He's constantly researching new bands. Alex and I help with the bigger acts who we've either gotten to know personally or have contacts with through booking agents.

HM:  There was a decadent variety of dishes offered by the food trucks (everything i tasted was absolutely amazing), and there was a nice collection of artist displays.  how do you choose the food vendors/artists?

 CB:  They're all hand picked. We have a good staff who shares the same aesthetics as the RAS does.

HM:   How many people attended Psych Fest this year?  There seemed to be a strong international audience, which was fantastic to see. It must be exciting knowing that the Austin Psych Fest has become a destination for music lovers the world over.

CB:  there were around 3400 I believe. There's more people that come to the fest from outside of Texas than from within.

HM:  What do you feel worked best this year, and what would you like to change for next year's show?

CB:   I thought the River Stage was amazing! I would love for people to be able to swim in the river next year. I'm not sure why they weren't allowed to this year. It might be because it's too polluted.

The Future

HM:   Is Carson Creek the home of Psych Fest for the foreseeable future?

CB:   Yes. The owner of the ranch, Joan,  was at the festival all 3 days and really enjoyed herself and was excited to have us back for the next couple years.

HM:  What are your dreams for APF five years from now?

CB:   I hope we can fill the entire ranch with 10,000+ people and have Radiohead headline.

HM:   Expansion and growth can often times mean sacrifices of amenities have to be made. How do you plan to balance keeping the spirit of Psych Fest true to your original intentions, but still allowing the Fest to continue growing to accommodate bigger bands and larger audiences?  How do you plan to avoid the pitfalls of some of the other homegrown festivals that have expanded beyond their bounds or have evolved into giant corporate behemoths?

CB:   Ideally, we'd like to find a secret psychedelic benefactor who would help us keep our vision alive and help fund our wild ideas! We can't afford to get too many corporate sponsors who don't have the same ideals as we do for fear of losing control of the festival.

HM:  What are some of your dream bands to have on the Psych Fest lineup in the coming years?  are there any other now-defunct groups you are trying to get back together?

CB:   Jesus & Mary Chain. Spacemen 3 reunion. Radiohead. Beck. the Flaming Lips. Tame Impala. The Zombies. Jack White. Ty Segall. Mikal Cronin. The Velvet Underground. Brian Wilson playing 'Pet Sounds' & 'Smile'. The Verve. Blur. The Byrds. Donovan. The Gris Gris. Jaques Dutronc. July. The Kinks. David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason Pink floyd reunion. Rodriguez. The Rolling Stones playing 'Their Satanic Majesties Request'. Red Crayola playing 'Parable of Arable Land'. The Stone Roses. Oasis reunion. The Stooges. 13th Floor Elevators reunion with all the living members of the band.

HM:   If you could choose a Holy Grail Austin Psych Fest final night jam with any musicians, alive or dead, who would you choose?

CB:  Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Rick Wright……early Pink Floyd, circa 1966.


Oswald James:  Behind the Lens

Oswald James, member of the Reverberation Appreciation Society and the man in charge of capturing and preserving the Austin Psych Fest on film, recently spoke with HEAD MEDICINE.  His work as the official APF filmographer is an important element in helping spread the festival's message, and his perspective from behind the camera lens gives him a unique viewpoint as to how Austin Psych Fest has grown and continues to blossom.   we are pleased he took time out to share his thoughts with us.

HEAD MEDICINE:  how long have you been making films? did you go to school or are you self taught? what were some of your early projects or experiments that helped set you on your current path? 
OSWALD JAMES:  I started making videos as a teenager. Mostly short films with my friends and music videos for all of our bands. Most of these videos have been lost to time, lost in moves, or lost to friends I've fallen out of contact with. I've studied film, photography, and video production through a number of programs around the country.

HM:  what are your main influences/points of reference? 

OJ:  My dad was a drummer in some psych/garage bands in Houston in the 60's, one was called the Cordless Electric Blanket. So, there was always  a durm kit and a sort of psychedelic influence around the house.  
     Somewhere along the way I got into the 60's Garage compilations full of all these great bands that had recorded a 45 or two and disappeared. The majority of these bands were from small towns across the US. There was a bit of a garage resurgence happening in the Pacific Northwest, where I was living at the time, probably due to these Garage Nuggets comps and I started to feel that I should be documenting all the bands that I knew before they disappeared because who knows what kids would be into in 40 years.
     I moved back to Austin in the early 00s to work for a friend's production company making rap videos. Around this time I was inspired by a book called "Route 666: On the road to Nirvana" by Gina Arnold. The book charts the rise of the underground music scene from late 70's college radio to Nirvana becoming mainstream in the 90s. It focuses largely on the microcosms of the US college town scenes; Olympia, Athens, Providence, Austin and how bands from these smaller cities influenced the national indie scene. This again made me realize I should be documenting all the bands happening around me. I started bringing any cameras I could find to shows with me and filming all the bands I liked.

HM:  How did you get involved with The Reverberation Society and the Austin Psych Festival and when did you begin to document the Fest? 
OJ:  I had known the Black Angels just from hanging around the rock clubs. I was drumming in a band called Cavedweller and Christian Bland would be at every show hanging posters for his band, as well my good friend Jenn Raines had just become the Black Angel organist. The Angels got out of town, started touring and building up a worldwide following. 

     One night the Angels were back in town playing Emo's. Their projectionist at the time asked me to make a  live video of his 16mm projections.  The show was filled to capacity with people I had never seen before. I stood at the back of the room filming the visuals and knew this was the audience I wanted to make films for.
     I filmed the Angels a few more times. Then, Christian and the projectionist tell me about this idea they have to invite all the bands the Angels had been touring and playing shows with in other cities to Austin for some sort of Psych Fest to take place the weekend before SXSW 2008. They weren't sure what to call it yet but had been using the working title of Austin Psych Fest. I told them I would bring my cameras and a small crew and document the entire thing. 
     I made the first feature length concert film of APF#2 and have made one each year since.
The Reverberation Appreciation Society was officially formed in 2009 after APF2 by Christian Bland, Alex Maas, Rob Fitzpatrick, and myself. We curate the fest and handle the day to day logistics of running our record label. Around the same time I formed my production company Alta Real Pictures to be the video arm of the fest and label.

HM:  How many people currently make up your crew?   can you tell us a bit about how you keep the machine running over a three day music festival?  what is your crew directed to capture in the crowd and on stage? 

OJ:  Originally, it was just me and anyone I could find to hold a camera. Around APF#2 and 3 people started reaching out to us asking if they could film the event. Our policy was to always let anyone with a camera interested in filming come out for free as long as we could use the footage for our annual concert film. Over the years a really tight crew has formed that seems to keep growing. Some of these people I work with year round on other film and music related projects. Others come in once a year from around the globe.
     I always try to encourage an experimental environment. I tell everyone do things that other productions will not allow you to do. If you have an idea you've wanted to try out all year, by all means go wild. I never want the footage to look static or boring. 
     In the past, these films have been pretty straight forward concert films with the main focus on the performances. This year we took more of a documentary approach with more interviews and general festival ambiance in addition to the artist performances. The goal is to get this in front of a larger audience through film festivals and international screenings. We've always made these for the fans and the people around the world who can't always attend the event. I want the film this year to define the APF experience to people who have never heard of us or who have no clue what this is all about.  We have interviews with "legacy" artistis like Roky Erickson and Sonic Boom, world psych acts like Tinariwen and Acid Mothers Temple, and newer groups from around the world like Wall of Death and The Holydrug Couple. Should be a nice cross section of the originators of psych and some of the current torch bearers.

HM:  what kind of  cameras and equipment do you use?  are they traditional, digital, or a combination of the two? 

OJ:  I've always been into using actual film when I can. Unfortunately, film is not cheap and not always practical. I try to at least shoot a few reels of super 8 each year and cut together a super 8 teaser reel. Mostly we shoot on DSLRs. It's hard to beat the image quality for the price. When I started filming bands around Austin I was more concerned with the footage looking gritty and real, I didn't care so much about what camera I was using. Now, I just want the films and the work I do to look timeless.

HM:  how many hours of footage was shot at APF 2013?  do you try to get footage of every band or are you forced to pick and choose where and when to set up? 

OJ:  I try to document as much as the resources we have available to us will allow for each festival. We can't always film every band but we try. For the annual concert film we have to cut 3 days worth of footage into an hour and a half film, which usually takes me half the year to do.

HM:  how did filming at Carson Creek Ranch differ from previous APF locations?  what were some of the benefits and what were some of the challenges? 

OJ:  This year we had 3 stages spread out over the 50 acre ranch so, in addition to all the bands there was also a lot of ground to cover. It was great having everyone camp out there and all wake up together each morning and start having a good time. The natural setting also made for a nice backdrop to set up interviews with the artists and general attendees from around the world. 
This was also our first year to be at the mercy of the weather which was a bit ominous at times. It rained for a few hours on Saturday night. We threw garbage bags over the cameras and kept filming. Hopefully, it will add some drama to the film.

HM:  in your wildest dreams, five years from now, what has the Austin Psych Festival developed into? 

OJ:  It seems to be on a natural trajectory at this point to become the ultimate world psych festival. We have plans to incorporate more films and interactive art installations. We're also doing our first international event in Angers, France in Sept. 2013 called Levitation-France. We'll have around 20 bands over two days including Damo Suzuki of Can, Beak>, Dead Meadow, Dead Skeletons and the Black Angels. We hope to start a few of these satellite festivals and curate/present shows around the world. 

For more info on Levitation-France visit:

HM:  when will the Austin Psych Fest 2013 dvd be released?
OJ:  The 2013 Film and DVD will be released by the new year.  Stay tuned to for more details.

AUSTIN PSYCH FEST returns May 2-4, 2014. Tickets on sale now @

check out more of Oswald James' work at Alta Real Pictures. 
buy Austin Psych Fest dvd's HERE

AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 2012 TRAILER from oswald james on Vimeo.

AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 2013 Super 8 Reel from oswald james on Vimeo.

AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 2013 LINEUP TEASER from oswald james on Vimeo.



     One of the most memorable performances of Austin Psych Fest 2013 came from a guy who wasn't even officially on the bill, yet had a profoundly subliminal influence over the entire weekend's festivities.  instead of performing for a sea of attentive eyes, his performance came from behind an invisible veil on the main Reverberation Stage as the roadies tore down and set up the various bands' gear.  his booming, psyched out trip hop grooves provided the relentlessly badass soundtrack for the smiling, laughing audience as they milled about having the time of their lives, waiting patiently for the next band to take the stage.  These sounds were a thread that strung through the festival, keeping everything moving and never allowing the mood to grow idle or stagnant.  numerous times throughout the weekend i would be lost in those grooves, asking out loud, "what the fuck are we listening to??" and being almost disappointed when it would fade out to make way for some incredible band onstage as they were about to begin.  it turns out these mesmerizing beats were produced live, cut up and spontaneously assembled onstage by the San Francisco producer/dj Al Lover.  It was a performance that was anonymous to all but a small handful in attendance, but helped dramatically color the mood and atmosphere of the festival, more than any other single performer on stage that weekend. 

     Once i had a name to pin onto the sounds, i jumped head first into the Al Lover back catalog and quickly found myself falling down the rabbit hole.  this dude has a ridiculous amount of music to sift through, a good chunk of which is available for free download:  original recordings, remixes, mix tapes... all of it working at a very high quality level.  This guy's sound is right up my alley, too... languid opium den grooves and scuzzy drunken fuck beats...  a unique mix of new and classic fuzzed out, reverb drenched psychedelia with those long gone narcotic Bristol trip hop beats and the mid to late 90s mind melting cut-n-paste hip hop collage sounds of San Fran's Glue Factory luminaries like Dan the Automator and DJ Shadow.  it's a perfect blend of musical ingredients, and is, in my opinion, one of the more original and fresh sounds out there.

You can listen to most of Al Lover's music on his Bandcamp and Soundcloud sites, and there are plenty of treats to find when digging through his old Blogspot.  i have downloaded HOURS of stuff, and i still don't think i have all of it.  and, remember, it's all hot shit stuff.   pay special attention to the lovingly ruthless deconstruction of Captain Beefheart's first album on Safe As Milk Replica... "Woodsist Remixed," the unauthorized remixing of artists from the Woodsist Records stable... the classic Distorted Reverberations of Reverberating Distortion, reworkings of modern psych masters... Heavy Hippies - Cheapdrugsfreelove which sounds exactly like you would think from the title... and his free mixtape downloads for Austin Psych Fest with Elevated Transmissions Volume One and Volume Two.

Head Medicine is very excited to sit down and learn more about Al Lover from the man himself.

HEAD MEDICINE:  at the Austin Psych Fest this year, i was blown away by all of the between-band muzak that was coming from the main stage.   the big instrumental trip hop grooves  were among the most brilliant performances of the weekend, and gave the Fest a very cohesive thread that ran through the three days. can you tell us a bit about how you became involved with APF and how the mixes came together?   were the tunes coming from the main stage new tracks or from your previous releases?  will these mixes be available for purchase/download?  i need them.  all of them. 

AL LOVER:  first off thanks so much, i'm glad you dug them. i was curious to see how they would be received. i got involved with apf, so i'm told,  through the remix of the night beats song h-bomb that i did. apparently they played it for the black angels and they dug it and reached out to me about procuring some mixes for the 2012 festival and playing the festival as well. since then i've kind of been put on as the "official" dj for psych fest i guess. which is quite an honor. most of the stuff i was playing at psych fest was live re edits and remixes of old and new psych songs done with looping, adding extra drum breaks and effects. then i would just play some regular songs here and there. i think i only played a couple of my own tracks. the mixes are not available anywhere right now, but i plan on releasing some stuff like that when i have some time in the near future.

HM:  how have you been influenced by the past and present San Francisco music scene?  you are an unusual concoction of the old 60's psychedelia mashed into the mid-90s DJ Shadow/Dan the Automator Glue Factory sound collage  and twisted  with the current psych sounds being produced.    what other music has had a profound influence on you?

AL:  the bay area, since the sixties has always had cool stuff going on, i try my best to soak up and research all the local music that's happened here. i grew up on rap and punk, but my dad alway had the stones playing and is a big velvet underground fan, so that had a big influence on me as well. it's funny, i remember this profoundly. when the judgment night soundtrack came out back in the days it was so cool to me to see hip hop and grunge/punk/metal being mixed together. the song with de la soul and teenage fan club "fallen" is one of my all time favorite songs. i still find myself humming it to myself on a regular basis. i rocked that tape all day everyday.  edan's album beauty and the beat was a big influence on me as well as early rza production. thee oh see's have been a big influence to me as well since i moved to sf. too many to name.

HM:  i am curious about your creative process(es).  how do your tracks materialize?  what kind of digital/analog equipment are you using?  how spontaneous vs. pre-planned?

AL:  up until very recently everything i did was made on an mpc 2000 xl, i just got ableton though so the mpc has been collecting a little dust unfortunately. that is going to change soon though, it's been calling out to me. i usually start with a sample. i'll hear a part of a song and then chop it up find some drums that fit, then run everything through too many effects till it's all blown out and ruined, then i'll track it out for a mix. a lot of my favorite stuff that i've done, initially is because of spontaneous inspiration. the basic idea materializes out of nowhere then i plan accordingly.

HM:  what was the inspiration behind the complete deconstruction and reassembly of Captain Beefheart's first album, Safe as Milk, into Safe as Milk Replica?  any other albums you have the itch to take apart and collage back together?  what are your thoughts on honoring source material vs. complete artistic reinvisioning while remixing?

AL:  that was one of those things that was just a spontaneous thing. the day that beefheart died, the idea just came to me as kind of a tribute, in my own way. in my mind it was a kind of energy transference. i have heard a couple albums that i consider remixing in it's entirety but i kind of want to focus less on "remixing" and focus more on making actual albums right now. as for honoring source material, i think both are cool. i want to give credit where credit is due, especially when remixing current artists. but some things i want to keep a secret. it's a cool feeling when you are listening to an old record and you hear an original of a sample. that's one of my favorite parts of listening to old records, so i feel like keeping it hidden can be a good thing too.

HM:  you have released hours worth of material and mixes online for free, and got into a bit of trouble  for your free remixes of artists on the Woodsist record label.  what are your opinions on piracy laws and releasing music for free?  have your thoughts changed since you are now releasing formal albums on a record label and this is now a loss of income?

AL:  not really, as i see it right now, artists make money from touring and licensing. i think music is to be shared, not profited from. obviously an artist wants to be compensated for his or her efforts and i respect that. when i start bring ing in large sums from record sales i'll be glad to pay royalties to other artists. it's the labels that are most concerned with this because they're a business. i am really into the idea of how folk music progressed in the past, songs getting passed down through generations, modernized and changed to fit the current conditions. i think remix culture operates on these same principles.

HM:  your debut album, "space magick" will be released soon on PNKSLM.  What can we expect with this record?  how does it fit into the overall body of your work?

AL:  it's a lot different that anything i've released. i made it as an offering to the spirit world and the ancient gods, so we'll see how people on earth dig it.

HM:  you have been asked to create a monthly mix series for the Austin Psych Fest called Elevated Transmissions.  can you tell us a bit about this project?  any hint of what you might have up your sleeve?

AL:  yeah, really stoked on this ongoing project. the idea is to showcase current bands the guys at psych fest and i are feeling, promote bands on the reverberation appreciation society label and spotlight lesser known bands coming up. it was an idea they had, which i'm really stoked to be a part of, plus it helps me to discover new music which is my favorite thing to do.

HM:  as if you aren't busy enough, you recently announced that you are working on a 12" remix of the mighty Goat from Sweden.  that's a pretty exciting project.  how did that come about?  who will be releasing it once it is finished?  can you tease us a bit with what you have in mind for the project?  i'm curious what you are hearing on "world music" that has you licking your chops and ready to dig in and slice it all up.

AL:  Well my buddy luke who runs PNK SLM works with them a bit and kind of had the idea. I had actually thought about it myself before hand because my natural inclination when i hear something amazing is to sample it, ha. but when he mentioned it and said he'd like to put it on wax. I figured, why not? I'm pretty sure we're gonna do a limited run of it on PNK SLM. Can't go into too much detail about it yet, but it's gonna be pretty crazy, building off the afro beat rhythms they do with a lot more layers of effects and a healthy portion of 808s.

HM:  you seem to be very conscious of weaving a narrative or cinematic view through your mixes.  in your opinion, what are the most important elements of a good mix?

AL:  well, coming from hip hop actual "mixing" is one of the most important parts. but aside from that i think the flow of the mix, yeah the narrative, how the mix develops. it's supposed to be a journey, so that people can enjoy the ride.

HM:  in an age of splintering political and social ideologies, music has been moving in the opposite direction, most notably in the psych music scene.  wildly different genres and styles are seamlessly merging into a new global sound, international borders are falling away as bands and artists from all over the world are now all on the same stage,  and there is a renewed interest in consciousness expansion and connection with music.  your merging of hip hop and drugged out psych is a prime example of this.  thoughts?

AL:  i think with the internet the amount of exposure to different cultures, genres, ideas and the like is inspiring people to try new combinations of ideas that they might not have thought of due to a lack of exposure before hand. it's really great, so many interesting things are happening right now due to the ability to search out and connect with new ideas online. i think the renewed interest in consciousness expansion is due to a similar exposure to new ideas and revealed truths with the internet to an extent, but i also think that humans can only exist in such an artificial, shallow, greedy environment for so long before the unconscious mind or higher self starts urning for more of a connection to nature and an pure state of being. i also think civilizations have cycles of these types of enlightening movements and we're shifting towards one now. in my opinion it's nature's way of putting us back on track and reconnecting with natural law.

HM:  under what conditions should the music of al lover be played for maximum enjoyment?
AL:  i alway make my stuff with the idea of it coinciding with motion. i feel like it's headphone music for a bicycle ride or bombing a hill on a skateboard. loops are alway good for drug rituals too, so there's that, ha.

HM:  any other projects/collaborations on the horizon?
AL:  yeah, so i got the 'space magick' lp coming out soon. no official date yet but hopefully before the end of the year. i have a remix project for a friend's cassette label 'headway recordings', which i'm really stoked on it's a more synth, bass heavy project, a really a new direction for me personally so that's really cool, that should be out maybe fall? 

Al Lover has also recently released through PNK SLM his first official release, the Vodun Moon 7".  it is in very limited quanities so contact PNK SLM for one now.  follow Al on Facebook for any updates


a huge thank you is required to Christian Bland, Oswald James, and Al Lover for taking the time to speak with HEAD MEDICINE.  your effort is much appreciated.

all art and writings by kojak

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