Published May 13, 2010You may never hear a more psychedelic album than this. Just about every electric musician has messed about with shape-shifting flangers and delays at some point, but A Sufi And A Killer achieves global trans-consciousness far beyond bedroom studio tomfoolery. The Gaslamp Killer (part of L.A.'s greater beat-mulching community, alongside guest producers Flying Lotus and Mainframe) takes a digital power saw to a pile of vintage Turkish, Indian and Persian grooves ― heck, pretty much the whole the Finders Keepers catalog. Gonjasufi's vocals range from There's A Riot Going On-era Sly Stone to Tom Waits in a good mood to sheer, braying noise, but they always come correct with a sure sense of rhythm. Mix and then record the results too loud on a worn-out cassette tape, re-digitize and then further degrade it, and you're 80-percent there, in terms of describing the sound of this album. Gonjasufi could come off as overbearing and rant-fuelled, but for the bluesy, sandpaper quality of his vocals and usually interesting, if spare, lyrics. With only a few sunny moments, like the breezy G-funk of "Candylane," this album may be too overwhelming to digest at once, but even small samples are bound to yield miniature sonic universes within each track.
Because you've known Gaslamp Killer for so long, did you talk about what you wanted to accomplish or did things just fall into place
They just fell into place. We knew what we wanted; he was my band. They're basically re-edits of old Turkish psych rock or some Bollywood shit. We didn't make this album thinking that the world was going to hear it, or that Warp wanted it. We were just bored with where music was at. Basically they [the producers] made everything and I filled in the blanks.
There's an overriding spirituality to the album, but do you see more freethinking musicians achieving notoriety?
You know what? I do. At this point, music is so empty in its substance and content, but right now I'm listening to Flying Lotus's new album; he's taking it somewhere else. I'm blown away with that. Because of artists like him, it's getting into that early '90s era where every genre was breaking ground. You got alternative rock, you got hip-hop; it was fresh. I feel responsible to create that era again for these younger cats, and they're going to take it further. Because if we don't it's all going to be Autotuned out.
If you had to sum up your message in a single sentence what would it be?
The greatest journey to take is between your head and your heart, back and forth. (Warp)