Who is Gonjasufi, you ask? He is Sumach Ecks, a rapping music producer who has been cranking out hip-hop heavy tunes for nearly two decades now. Appearing on the Flying Lotus’s song “Testament” on his album Los Angeles was the beginning of what would become an avalanche in popularity leading up to the recording of this debut album, humbly produced by Flying Lotus and Gaslamp Anthem. A Sufi and a Killer earned him much acclaim for its very non-traditional approach to an otherwise stale vein of hip-hop.
With tribal chanting and rhythmic percussions, we are introduced to A Sufi and A Killer. The following track, “Kobwebz,” is an emersion of psychedelia with its highly distorted singing and sitar. Its not until the third track on the album, “Ancestors,” that we see some authentic Gonja utilizing a snare and clap alongside his sitar and surreal vocals that make for a trip-hop influenced melody. “Change” is a nice, downtempo change of pace from the intensely distorted majority of the record. The vocals vary widely in style through and through, but are consistently trippy and psychedelic. We hear a little bit of funk on “Candylane,” which is saturated in so much slap bass you’d think it was a Prince song. The bleepy, slightly 8-bit “Holidays” is reminiscent of a play through Castlevania, only accompanied by off-key, unharmonic vocals.
The definition of esoteric, A Sufi and a Killer is a little bit of everything, but not for everyone. No two songs on this 19 track album could be placed in the same genre. Gonjasufi makes his official debut on the music scene showcasing his versatile, globe-trotting ability to make different types of music in addition to his befuddling, almost annoying vocals. If there is one thing you can say about A Sufi and a Killer it’s certainly anything but tradition, cookie-cutter music.