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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
14
A Sufi and A Killer
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 30 November 2017
;)
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on 27 August 2010
Gonjasufi has both an interesting eclectic experimental musical and family background which, in many ways, is reflective of the music of his debut.

Born to a Mexican mother and an American-Ethiopian father and raised in a predominantly white neighbourhood in San Diego, Gonjasufi converted to Sufism following a life blighted by drug addiction. He became a yoga teacher and hooked up with a variety of experimental musicians and artists.

In terms of the eclecticism of his art, music probably doesn't get much more eclectic than 'A Sufi And A Killer'. This is a recording which is literally a conflagaration of a multitude of rare song samples (termed 'crate diggin').

Although the sound and style of the piece is arguably rooted in the DJ Shadow/Spooky tradition of sampling, it ultimately transcends them in terms of its diversity. The recording infuses everything from Turkish psych rock to Bollywood, free jazz, Jimi Hendrix and everything in between.

But the element in the overall sound which ultimately is its driving force, is a merging of the deranged blues of Howlin' Wolf, and Tom Waits and the powerhouse garage of the Stooges and MC5. Clearly, Conjasufi has a wide-ranging musical knowledge which he displays in the sound he creates. This makes a refreshing change from the vast majority of hip hop artists whose output is as bland as it is unimaginative.

Unlike the work of the majority of his contemporaries, Conjasufi is prepared to dig below the surface of the soul in order to reveal pain and anguish in a way that the blues in the early black music expressed the pain and frustrations of its generation.

The album was produced by another key figure in the LA scene, the Gaslamp Killer in tandem with Flying Lotus, who this year (2010) released an equally innovative album entitled 'Cosmogramma'.
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on 30 June 2017
Chill Buddha Lounge, trippy lo-fi type of album. A timeless dub record. Recommended
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on 20 January 2011
A new addition to the growing LA beat scene is Gonjasufi's `A Sufi and a killer'. Produced by the nuttily brilliant Gaslamp Killer, plus guest beats from Flying Lotus and Mainframe.

This is certainly an eclectic album, Gaslamp holds everything together to create a wonderfully obscure sampledelic beat collage, Gonjasufi shows off his full earthy vocal range and it all somehow works. Songs haphazardly flit in and out between many styles and genres, whether its a croaky soul number, a straight-up hip-hop mashup, a grizzly punk swagger to a space-funk green-haze groove.

The album starts with the ragged raga of `Baratanatyam', merging seamlessly into the psych-rock `Kobwebz'. Flying Lotus adds a brilliant deep sitar driven groove to `Ancestors'. The fantastic `Cowboys and Indians' is a stoner riff overlaid with African harmonies and a sample of a middle eastern singer over Gonjasufi's frazzled vocals. Throw in some p-funk style grooves on `Change' and `Dust' before Gaslamp even manages to bring in some disco electro on `Candylane'. Some tracks are just pure Gonjasufi vocals over simple beats such as `Holidays'. The last third of the album is more of a proper psyche rock outing, especially on the superb `Dednd' and the 60's acid groove of `I've given'.

A fantastic groovy mess of an album.
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on 8 April 2010
Gonjasufi plays a brand of cracked and distorted dust-blown, desert-honed, neo-psychedelia that really isn't easy to describe. The songs kind of just fall into place. Some have hooks that seemingly come from nowhere. The album was put together with help from Flying Lotus and (mainly) The Gaslamp Killer.... but Gonjasufi sounds like his own man as he ploughs his unique musical furrow. I really, really rate this album - and the best thing is - it gets better and more compelling each time I play it. The record of 2010, so far, for me, no contest.
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on 12 May 2011
I don't think i will be writing anything too different to what has already been mentioned here in the reviews, but this is an album that is really worth buying and having a listen to. I read a review of the man in the Big Issue and listened to Ancestors on his website and i must admit i was a little perplexed at first but he gradually pulls you into a world of jangly beats and dustiness, that really is the only way to describe it. I don't smoke (and when i say smoke i don't mean cigarettes) anymore but could imagine this could be a real treat in that state. However even without it i was drawn into another worldliness with this album. Admittedly it can't be given a five star rating because of the weirdness of it all, not that i don't like weird but it takes a bit of effort to really 'get' this music. But trust me when you do it's WELL worth it. Oh and he has to have one of the most charismatic voices i've heard since Tom Waits. Now there's a compliment!
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on 22 January 2011
I just thought I'd add to the general praise for this record, I bought a lot of records last year, but I think this was actually the best 2010 had to offer. It's been totally overlooked in peoples end of year round-ups, but I bought this on release and it's still getting regularly played now, which is more than can be said for a lot of stuff on the Pitchfork/Drowned In Sound/Tiny Mix Tapes 'best of the year' lists.

It's an impossible record to categorise, as it flits between sounding like a 70's soul record, to another Warp electronic masterpiece, and takes in pretty much everything else along the way. I also love the guy's voice, which is really distinctive, and put a name to the guy I'd heard on a Flying Lotus track that I really liked.

I can't recommend this highly enough, it's a masterpiece. A word of warning, Please do be sure to buy this and not 'The Caliph's Tea Party', which is a slightly disappointing collection of remixes from this record.
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on 8 June 2010
I hate that moment when you've played a record to death and you have to put it away for a year or so to make it fresh again. Well, it is going to happen with this one but I cannot help myself. This sort of creative eclecticism rarely makes for a consistently great record but here...! His voice, the production, the sheer quality of the songs make this one of the musical joys of this year. Thank God for the new Flying Lotus so I can start listening to something else occasionally!
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on 1 April 2010
I sought out this album after reading a couple of positive reviews. When I received it I put it on as I decorated the house! Suffice to say that not much work got done as I was instantly entranced in it's heavy grooves.

Musically I can't really compare it with anything else as I am not normally a fan of the trip-hop genre but this record defies categorisation (despite my attempts at doing so above!) and stands on it's own.

It's utterly absorbing but I wouldn't recommend you do anything important whilst listening to it as you won't be able to give the task your fullest attention. I still have half-painted walls as a result!
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on 12 September 2010
I came across this fella on YT thru a J Dilla series of vids, I think this lp will be a classic of its genre
though its genre is quite undefineable true art useually is.
packed with soul and beautiful soundscapes/wordscapes
buy it !.
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