The music of Al Lover makes always feels as if it’s just shy of imploding. The Los Angeles based DJ and sound artist flirts with ambient, but his soundscapes often have more in common with trap music than Brian Eno, a sound you that wouldn’t be entirely unfit for T.I. if he ever chooses to take his Us or Else campaign down the experimental route.

This isn’t to say you should turn away if you prefer the stylings of a Tim Hecker to a Jeezy. These are decidedly strange little sonic worlds, self-contained, and defying ready comparison to just about anyone. The Orb’s wonkier forays are a solid reference point, but even that fails to capture the vibe here, with Existential Everything tending to carry a sense of menace rather than float on fluffy little clouds.

Indeed, listening to the likes of ‘Quarantined Cauldron’ may just have you checking your surroundings to make sure you’re not being followed, with much of the music here seeming to exist in a world of muted paranoia.

If there’s one track to look to in an effort to square away what turns out to be a rather hard record to pin down, when it comes to Existential Everything, look to ‘Heavy Rain in Visual Fields’. It’s hip hop decomposed, a beat tape seeped in oil and acid, a structured musical world losing its balance.

Recorded, off and on, across a lengthy period of time from 2016 to 2018, Lover let inspiration come to him, rather than forcing out any instant gratification to capitalize on his popularity on the festival circuit (Lover serves as the official DJ for both Levitation and Desert Daze).

Letting the music come to him, rather than seeking out in a frenzy clearly served Al Lover well. Existential Everything often bears a sense of hurry, but never feels hurried. You can feel the patience applied in each eerie soundscape, in its more trap and ambient moments alike, giving off the feeling of something at once familiar and alien, like some twisted crossover of The Twilight Zone and Star Trek, Picard and co. vying to outwit an unforgiving Rod Serling, with the listener in between, trapped somewhere inside the bizarre soundtrack that resulted. To be sure, that’s an odd way to choose to describe an album, but Existential Everything is anything but normal.