On his latest two-part single, "The Kill/Prints of Sin," from the upcoming "Callus" album (set to drop Aug. 19 on Warp Records), Chula Vista native Gonjasufi navigates a kaleidoscope of psychedelic beats as half stoic mystic, half otherworldly shaman.
Through crucifixion references and whispered melodies, on "The Kill" he warbles up from under heavy fuzz, "Babylon hates me," signaling that something in some way is amiss. But even though Babylon may be at odds with his personal progress and a line like "still on my cross hanging" holds heavy, he sounds as settled and centered as any Sufi you'd imagine.
There's percussion backing an anxious guitar that meets his matter of fact calm in a yin and yang two-step, as he shadows dried-out horns before shape-shifting into an all out witch doctor.
If "The Kill" is Gonjasufi as detached medicine man, then "Prints of Sin" finds him engaged as a metaphysician casting away the obscene. "A prideful man can't find his way out," he hollers in full ritual healer mode, shunning temptation and vice, growling as his distorted vocals echo and swing.
It's of its own stock -- this single doesn't sound like anything else. Nothing. So while creatively tapped artists chase sounds and trends, Gonjasufi doesn't. Part gruff balladeer, part extroverted frontman with a burden-soaked voice that's as unique as his approach, he stands out as an original who's committed to exploration -- all on his own terms.