In pairing with L.A. producer Gaslamp Killer, Gonjasufi has found a powerful outlet for his otherworldly strain of singing. Together theyâ€™ve created A Sufi and a Killer, one of the most fascinating slabs of hallucinogenic head-nod music to arise from Southern Californiaâ€™s post-hip-hop vanguard. Unlike the digital bleeps and squelches of SoCal contemporaries FlyLo and Nosaj Thing, however, Gaslamp Killer and Gonjasufi draw from their hip-hop background to create an LP that could as easily fit on the Stones Throw roster as well as it does IDM-centric Warp. The beats knock, but for every moment of b-boy-friendly atmosphere, thereâ€™s another momentâ€“ or a simultaneous oneâ€“ that makes like 21st century acid rock.
Gonjasufiâ€™s vocals are both haunting and haunted, coolly assertive yet frequently fixated on mortal matters, and they bleed vividly through Gaslampâ€™s corroded analog wall of zero-fi psychedelic noise. The results are stark: Brooding, bad-trip laments (â€œKobwebzâ€), a doo-wop number punctuated by spacey twang (â€œDuetâ€), a warping of the blues (â€œAgeingâ€). Even the more straightforward stuff has a grimy quality to it, particularly the heavy soul of â€œChangeâ€, the bar-jazz tension of â€œAdviceâ€, and the woozy â€œKowboys & Indiansâ€ with its Eastern vocals looped against a rust-covered revision of club rap beats circa 2003.