Gonjasufi Is No Slave to the Machine

Gonjasufi Is No Slave to the Machine
Gonjasufi's A Sufi and a Killer feels a sun-stroked cruise down a lonely desert highway with an ever more intense psychedelic soundtrack fading in and out on the radio. Gaslamp Killer's production takes off from re-edits of globally spaced-out sounds of the '60s and '70s, on which Gonjasufi then drops his idiosyncratic vocals. Such a sound is both vintage and contemporary — born in the '60s and re-animated today. Gonjasufi, though, makes his psychic home with these vintage sounds, not with cutting-edge electronics.

Gonjasufi has made his displeasure with smoothed-out, computer-assembled music known in interviews past, but in conversation with Exclaim!, he struck a more conciliatory tone.

Asked if he could have realized his musical vision had it not been for computer-based composition, he said, "As much as I talk down about computers and shit, a computer did play a major role. All the edits the Gaslamp Killer did, he had to use a computer. I know its worth, I just don't like to rely on Auto-Tune and shit, I just try to make it minimal."

Aside from the re-edits, Gonjasufi tried to keep the process from taking place entirely on a digital stage. "All the delays you hear on the record are all analog pedals, not digital. My voice, the way you hear it, I try to keep the EQs the same not mess with effects, just keep it as raw and direct as I can."

Mostly, though, he believes that he could have realized his timeless musical vision in any era, by whatever means available. "Definitely. I feel like I could've recorded an album like this back then. I think I would have been forced to use multitracks, or whatever. It's like trying to go back to the future, you know. [My music] would've been one of those bands that we sampled!"

You can check out more of Exclaim!'s interview with Gonjasufi, as well as our review of A Sufi and a Killer, here. A Sufi and a Killer is out now on Warp Records.