Gonjasufi A Sufi and a Killer(Warp) Buy it from Insound
Every once in a while an album comes along that absolutely cannot be pinned down. These are thrilling and thought provoking listens. They are difficult to review because they invite no comparisons or sensible descriptions. They are albums that have to be carefully listened to and absorbed, not read about in a review. That simply does not do Gonjasufi’s A Sufi and a Killer justice.
Gonjasufi is Sumach Ecks, a Los Angeles based yoga instructor, DJ and songwriter. A Sufi and a Killer is the culmination of nearly two years of anger issues, sobriety problems and is a collaboration with Flying Lotus and The Gaslamp Killer. It’s a lifetime of experience, influence and self reflection.
“I wish I was one of your sheep/instead of a lion/cause then I wouldn’t have to eat this meat that is dying” he muses on the fascinating, genre hopping Sheep, which begins with a simple guitar ballad and evolves into a beat driven, eastern flavored electronic groove. He keeps on pondering his life throughout the record, angrily mourning the loss of a woman on She Gone, thinking about aging on the self explanatory Ageing. He ponders spirituality, day to day life, everything. He sounds pained but triumphant, like he has either passed through all the struggles or come to terms with them. Yet despite the specific nature of his lyrics, they are surprisingly relatable.
Gonjasufi jumps effortlessly from genre to genre without ever losing focus. He goes from soul to funk to hip hop to blues to garage rock, all of it held together by crackly, bassy production and his croaking, bluesy voice. A Sufi and a Killer never, ever repeats itself. Gonjasufi’s beautiful, instantaneously classic voice is the glue that holds it all together. It’s captivating.
I’ve done my best to describe an indescribable album, one that effortlessly defies categorization. Go get it. Go listen to it on repeat for three days. Absorb it. Listen to what he has to say, relate to it in your own way. Enjoy one of the best albums of what’s looking to be a pretty great year.25 March, 2010 - 11:25 — Andrew Baer