CD Review – Gonjasufi: A Sufi and a Killer
Imagine that Tom Waits, Flying Lotus and Madlib made a child and Captain Beefheart raised him in the southern California desert. This amazing love child would be Gonjasufi. On his album A Sufi and a Killer, Gonjasufi combines the sounds of acid rock and classic hip hop – as well as elements of blues, heavy rock, early hip hop, southern twang, eastern, and even doo-wop – with strained, ragged warbling vocals. The album is produced by Gaslamp Killer, who recognized the need for an outlet for Gonjasufi’s otherworldly vocals. Each sound works to form a unified album due solely to the completely haunting and elastic ability of Gonjasufi to associate himself effortlessly into any beat and any genre. The vocals could easily be described as raspy, soulful, punk, fragile, powerful, or any other contradictory word – and all would be right. Gonjasufi is able to tear out your heart, put you to bed, or make you want to groove, but in every moment he definitely makes you feel. In the track “Sheep”, it is obvious that it truly is not what Gonjasufi says, but how he says it. The track speaks of his “want to be a sheep instead of a lion / so I wouldn’t have to eat animals that are dying”. The lyrics are vague, conflicting, and could easily succumb to cheese; but Gonjasufi skillfully sells it with his mouldable and indescribable voice. Once you enter Gonjasufi’s world there truly is no return.