Pop & Hiss

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Video premiere: Gonjasufi roams downtown L.A. in the 'The Blame'

February 21, 2012 | 10:02 am

Categorizing Chula Vista-born singer-producer-yoga teacher-dreadlocked mystic Gonjasufi is a fool’s game. His is a sound that draws from nearly every kind of rhythm music out there: the strange post-dub world of trip-hop progenitors Tricky and Massive Attack, the deep, complex beats of the late hip-hop producer J Dilla, the surreal dub examinations of reggae genius Lee “Scratch” Perry and the rumbling bass at the center of it all.

Part of L.A.’s ever-expanding Flying Lotus/Low End Theory/Alpha Pup beat scene, Gonjasufi makes a brand of bass-heavy music that’s filled with texture and echo, laced with odd tones and wildly diverse instrumentation, from sitar lines that sneak into the corner of a track to humming church organs to melodic guitar riffs and cymbal crashes that sustain for ages.

His fourth release, “MU.ZZ.LE,” is technically an EP, but it plays like a complete album. “Skin” is spooky but hummable, with the kind of creepy noises that make arm hairs tingle. The nearly subharmonic bass tones in “Venom” will surely drive your downstairs neighbors crazy, with a beat so slow and rumbly that it sounds like a chopped-and-screwed version of a chopped-and-screwed track, so thick and wet that it nearly coagulates.

Through it all, the rapper-turned-singer-moaner weaves his voice and lyrics, often fed through a treble-heavy filter that makes it hiss like a megaphone. Note to glaucoma sufferers: Next time you take your herbal medicine, pop on “MU.ZZ.LE”; it seems specifically designed for the post-treatment affects. You’ll be seeing things more fuzzily in no time.

Pop & Hiss is happy to premiere the video for "The Blame," from the new record, below. The clip shows the mystic wandering in and around downtown Los Angeles.


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-- Randall Roberts

Photo: Gonjasufi. Credit: Screen shot from video to "The Blame."