21 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

More than a simple love-or-hate situation, Gonjasufi’s gruff, smoky voice doesn’t even register on the same planet as the rest of us. It hovers in the ether instead, an alien presence that’s welcoming and wise in ways that can’t be fully understood without succumbing to his self-made universe. Even that can be a tad disorienting, as the San Diego native sings, speaks and scowls his way across frayed electronic loops (“Holidays”) and eerie snippets of soul (“Change”), funk (“Candylane”), and Route 66-ready psychedelic rock (“DedNd,” “SuzieQ”). It's a transformative experience, really, delivering the unmistakable feeling that you’re witnessing a genuine eccentric/mad genius freestyle over a roughly spun radio dial. Well, a roughly spun radio dial from the ‘60s or ‘70s, as hammered home in the album’s undisputed standout: “Sheep,” which pairs a couple cascading chords with a vintage children’s chorus, Middle Eastern melodies, and brassy horn breaks. Like the rest of Gonjasufi's debut, it's a crate-digger's fever dream and a sign that something truly haunting is happening here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

More than a simple love-or-hate situation, Gonjasufi’s gruff, smoky voice doesn’t even register on the same planet as the rest of us. It hovers in the ether instead, an alien presence that’s welcoming and wise in ways that can’t be fully understood without succumbing to his self-made universe. Even that can be a tad disorienting, as the San Diego native sings, speaks and scowls his way across frayed electronic loops (“Holidays”) and eerie snippets of soul (“Change”), funk (“Candylane”), and Route 66-ready psychedelic rock (“DedNd,” “SuzieQ”). It's a transformative experience, really, delivering the unmistakable feeling that you’re witnessing a genuine eccentric/mad genius freestyle over a roughly spun radio dial. Well, a roughly spun radio dial from the ‘60s or ‘70s, as hammered home in the album’s undisputed standout: “Sheep,” which pairs a couple cascading chords with a vintage children’s chorus, Middle Eastern melodies, and brassy horn breaks. Like the rest of Gonjasufi's debut, it's a crate-digger's fever dream and a sign that something truly haunting is happening here.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

96 Ratings

New From Warp! MEH...

trevno,

I'm a Warp fanboy from way back in the 90s, but this sounds like a homeless man screaming outside my window. He better knock it off or I'm calling the cops.

Raw and Hypnotic

xocobraox,

I love experimental music, and this is a fantastic album. It's impossible to describe other than to say that it is raw, hypnotic, original and catchy. It brings to mind some of the best of the early freakfolk music but with a new soulful twist. I can honestly say I have heard nothing like it. It's like the sixties and seventies psychedelic had a love baby with blues and soul.

About Gonjasufi

Dreadlocked San Diego-bred yoga instructor Sumach Ecks (who also travels under the names Sumach Valentine and Randy Johnson) turned from rapping with the Masters of the Universe crew and DJ'ing with Killowattz to focus on his solo endeavors under the name Gonjasufi. In 2006, around the time he relocated from beach shores to the desert to teach yoga in Las Vegas, he crossed paths with underground hip-hop staples Gaslamp Killer and Flying Lotus while visiting Los Angeles, and the three established a bond. Ecks, who had been making lo-fi psychedelic hip-hop for his own enjoyment (mainly on CD-Rs), recruited the two beatmakers to produce songs for him, which he would later enhance with his distinctive raspy vocals. Rough mixes led him to a spot on Warp in 2008. After Ecks spent over a year mixing the album down with AGDM at Silver Lake, and releasing the 7" singles “Ancestors” and “Kowboyz & Indians,” the full-length A Sufi and a Killer was released in March of 2010. A remix album titled The Caliph's Tea Party followed later that year, and in the beginning of 2012, he released his follow-up, a moody mini-album titled MU.ZZ.LE. He released a split EP with Ras G in 2013, and made guest appearances on albums by Perera Elsewhere, Awol One & Gel Roc, and the Bug. He returned to Warp in 2016 with the full-length Callus. ~ Jason Lymangrover

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