Friday, 2 March 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #82 - Gonjasufi, "MU.ZZ.LE"

Spends a lot of time in the desert, this lad. Teaches yoga and that. Part Ethiopian, part Mexican, part American. Should we describe someone by the nationalities of their forebears? Probably not. (And anyway, we know there were only three bears, right?) But there is a mystical bent to this guy, a touch of the cosmic. His "heritage" does nothing to contradict it. Although he does live in Vegas, so stick that ethnographically anywhere that smokes.

Cymbals crash at jazzy tempos. "Timeout" in particular has a Flying Lotus feel. There is a fug across the sound. I can hear the desert, my friends - the desert dreamed up in Roman music studios by Ennio Morricone. A desert sound evolved from recording instruments very close up. Like on "Rubberband", where the chorus are clipping in full throat, the drums command respect and he blurts into a dictaphone.

I like a braggadoccio MC with a stentorian flow, of course. But I also like the mumbling, confessional dudes as well. And Gonjasufi falls to his knees safely within that category. The whole album was recorded under his breath. "Forgive me/Because I've done it again." ("Skin")

"White Picket Fence" territory this isn't. The opening track bubbles up as if from underwater, very dirty water. "Feedin' Birds" has that Morricone pimp limp and mentions "mistletoe" and seems to be angry about some kind of betrayal, but I can't make it out. "Venom" is a scratchy outtake from Portishead's "Dummy" - gelid menace, slushy around the corners.

"Nikels and Dimes" is an introspective Outkast jam with the exuberance turned to discomfort, starting with a kid being tickled or chased or something hysterical like that. "Nickels and dimes/Sticks to my mind", he begins. Looking for balance - "Your breadcrumbs, my friend/Could feed them again/Again and again". Turns out as the tune fades that there's a wheezy, candlelit cafe tune been running in the backsound. Nice.

Yes, there is talk of Mount Zion ("Blaksuit" and "Timeout"), but I'm not sure where this will be found or how he plans to find it. There is only a fog of fuzzy beats and croaking words and reverbed found sounds. No co-ordinates that I can make out. But I'm enjoying the fog muchly much.

Rating: Once Upon A Time out of Reverberations

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