Gonjasufi
A Sufi and a Killer


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mendigo USER (21 Reviews)
April 8th, 2010 | 105 replies | 15,960 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “timeless, incredible filth”

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

On his head the greasiest dreadlocks you can imagine, Sumach Valentine’s aka Gonjasufi’s appearance is striking enough. But an even bigger thing he has going for him is his voice: raspy, rusty, rattling, honest - producer Flying Lotus called it “timeless, incredible filth”. In combination with the amazingly fucked up production of Los Angeles based hip-hop producer The Gaslamp Killer, tearing apart his baritone even more, he sounds like a prophet who has risen from the mud of the streets. And well, according to his biography that ain’t that wrong at all. Long before finding the Islamic Sufism, he lived down and out on the streets of Los Angeles. A homeless person who became a yoga teacher with wife and children, just one of many contrasts you stumble upon when digging through this man’s work.

“A Sufi and a Killer” is his debut album, after previously being featured on Flying Lotus’ great “Los Angeles”. Another excellent addition to the increasingly varying catalogue of IDM-pioneers Warp, this is an odd masterpiece. The influences are all over the place, from experimental hip-hop to blues to funk to world music to insane psychedelia, put into nineteen short and mostly amazing lo-fi nuggets, reeking of sandstorms, dry heat and drug orgies. After a one-minute intro that sounds a bit like its title (Bharatanatyam) the album unleashes one of the coolest three-track-openings you can imagine: Kobwebz furiously fuses eastern sounding guitars and layers of noise with hip-hop beats while Gonjasufi’s heavily distorted voice fades in and out. The Flying Lotus-produced Ancestors one-ups the opener with its catchy claps, deep bass and sitars. And then, Sheep, probably the best track on the album, goes from a sparse guitar to a sweet female voice laying down some warm, soulful na-na-na-naas to a Caribbean sounding groove while Gonjasufi’s lyrics transform from “I wish I was one of your sheep only because I wouldn’t have to kill to eat” to “I am a lion, babe, feeding of the sheep that graze”.

From there on “A Sufi and a Killer” takes us on a wild ride through styles and ideas, one funnier and more original than the other, all having in common only The Gaslamp Killer’s filthy, sizzling production (all but four tracks produced by Mainframe, that is) and Gonjasufi’s even rougher voice. The infectious She Gone. sounds like something The Beatles could’ve done had they been a lo-fi garage band. Kowboyz&Indians brings a unique psychedelic world music approach to hip-hop, just like Klowds does. Duet is a sweet bluesy love song, Stardustin’ and SuzieQ are short but heavy eruption of something that is almost hard rock, Change is reminiscent of a 60s soul number and the productions of Advice and Ageing set a fantastical backdrop for some of Gonjasufi’s more intimate musings. And finally the “hidden” bonus track has a wonderful psychedelic rock vibe to it sounding a lot like The Jimi Hendrix Experience on even more drugs, ending the album in a hugely satisfying way.

So “A Sufi and a Killer” has tons of material speaking for it, but alas of the nineteen tracks, not every one is a winner. The incorporation of the Mainframe-produced “Candylane / Holidays” single feels oddly out of place with its clean disco funk among all the filth and dirt and some tracks like I’ve Given or Love of Reign wouldn’t be missed if cut. But those are minor nitpickings, considering the amount of songs on this album, Gonjasufi has an incredible hit rate and it’s easy to dismiss the occasional short downer among so many successful experiments. In a year in which hip-hop seems to stay pretty much out of sight so far, “A Sufi and a Killer” gives it a new impulse into a completely unforeseen direction, hopping back and forth across genre boundaries with ease and joy.



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user ratings (127)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mendigo
April 8th 2010



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

first review in a long, long while.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2010



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh i was gonna do this, but no matter

Digging: A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Sea When Absent

Mendigo
April 8th 2010



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I certainly won't be pissed if you review it as well.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2010



15727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i mean it'll probably say the exact same thing as you with equal or lesser coverage. Might still do it anyway cuz I have nothing to review for the rest of April, but you did a fine job here

Mendigo
April 8th 2010



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

go for it. I'm sure a staff review will draw more attention to the album, so I'm happy with that ;)

plane
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2010



6085 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I just heard about this, interest piqued

lobby
April 8th 2010



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The influences are all over the place, from experimental hip-hop to blues to funk to world music to insane psychedelia, put into nineteen short and mostly amazing lo-fi nuggets, reeking of sandstorms, dry heat and drug orgies.

I'm getting this.

plane
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2010



6085 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Love this, chillest shit this year

lobby
May 19th 2010



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this is craziness. She Gone and Kowboyz and Indians are pretty incredible

Transport
May 19th 2010



25 Comments


gonan get nice one digo ! :thumb:

iranscam
May 30th 2010



469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fugg this is good

gondrong
June 14th 2010



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this record is gold.priceless.gonja's a genius!

Jash
June 22nd 2010



4243 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ancestors is one of the best flying lotus produced tracks ever

WooHa
July 2nd 2010



159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Amazing album! Ooh shit i still can't realize how good this album is. Great fusion between hip hop, psychedelic rock, funk and soul. Damn, i love it

feav233
July 14th 2010



1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is awesome, definitely one of my favorites this year

feav233
July 14th 2010



1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is awesome, definitely one of my favorites this year

lobby
July 14th 2010



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

he cancelled it out, dont u no

Enotron
July 19th 2010



7695 Comments


on the third track, this is fucking brilliant

lobby
July 20th 2010



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love the hidden status quo cover

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2010



7018 Comments


This is great. "Klowds" is incredible.

Digging: Braid - No Coast



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