#MoNM Day 13: Gonjasufi’s A Sufi and a Killer

I realize I’m running the risk of turning this #MoNM blog into a string of sheer positivity. I think every entry so far has boiled down to either “This is really good” or “This is pretty good and I should give it a chance to get better.” For anyone who thinks that negativity or cynicism are necessary for good reading, this is probably a disappointment. But as the guy who’s actually listening to these albums, it really is the best possible outcome.

And Gonjasufi is keeping up the trend. The Warp records tag sets up certain expectations of the IDM variety, and Gonjasufi’s appearance on the dark, trip-hopish “Testament” from Flying Lotus’ Las Vegas carries certain connotations of its own, but A Sufi and a Killer defies any of those preconceptions. It’s sort of a hip hop album, vaguely a soul album and very much psychedelic, in a certain sense. The style is hard to pin down because the production refuses to sit still – Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer and Mainframe all contribute tracks that don’t even try to cohere.

The disparate elements do end up working together, though, because Gonjasufi’s voice, a barely coherent rasp itself, forces them together. He has such a distinct style that everything he sings over becomes his. No matter how crisp the production is on the rest of the track, his voice will be broken, burned out and too hot by half, like he’s singing too close to an overdriven microphone. It’s a lo-fi voice on a hi-fi album, and while that might seem a bit one-trick for an entire career, it works wonders as a debut.

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