Gonjasufi – The Caliph’s Tea Party (Warp/Inertia)

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Gonjasufi remixes

A Sufi A Killer, the debut album for the reborn Sumach, LA rapper that found his inner voice and reinvented himself as Gonjasufi, is one of the best records of 2010, and since word of a companion piece of remixes was inevitable, the sounds and spirituality of Gonjasufi are destined to spread wide and far.

It’s hard to imagine that the genius combination of mainly The Gaslamp Killer production and the sweet varied voice of Gonjasufi could ever be topped, but that is not the idea of a remix album. A Sufi A Killer had the common thread, the glue that holds the whole album together, a unique combination of excessive digging through psychedelic sounds of yesterday, overloaded with dirty drums, distorted bass and otherworldly electronics, the vocals of Gonjasufi perfectly sitting atop the psych funk soup, The Caliph’ Tea Party is an opportunity to hand over the production duties to a vast array of musicians, hopping from genre to skewed style, producing some surprises. Don’ expect every remix to be killer, but there are enough styles and experiments here to satisfy most tastes.

When the remixers succeed, they soar, creating a whole new journey for the listener, crossing borders and time zones, even exploring new galaxies. Mark Pritchard remixes “Ancestors”, creating an unexpected space rock jam with mellow fuzz guitar and crashing cymbals, Mark Pritchard’ pedigree with Global Communication has afforded him with this truly original interpretation. “Candylane” remixed by Bibio, lays down 90′ drum machines and delicate electronic folk, choosing to leave Gonjasufi’ vocal relatively untouched by effects, while Dam Mantle take a half-step approach with chopped percussion and vocal snatches with “Aging”. Broadcast The Focus Group are let loose with “The Caliph’s Tea Party”, one of the more striking and odd tracks, psych folk meets a typically English hauntology for this exclusive new track. Oneohtrix Point Never remix “She’ Gone” into a beautifully haunting ambient masterpiece, distorting the black metal growl from the original, juxtaposed with Burial style pitched vocal snatches; this track will grow on you. MRR of MRR-ADM/MHE brings the breaks for his version of “Holidays”, nothing surprising, but fantastically addictive nonetheless, his drums are on point, showing his time with Mike Burnham was well spent. Schlomo offer dubbed glitch with his version of “Change”, slowing things to a crawl, while Hezus mess with garage psych hooks with playful tambourine and organ layers on “My Only Friend”, the original on the flipside of Kowboyz & Indians. The agdm remix of “DedNd” turns up the electronics to 11, totally consuming the original with undulating bass pulses, chimes and synth washes. Dem Hunger, Jeremiah Jae, and Bear In Heaven give another three totally polar opposite versions of “SuzieQ”, “Kobwebs” and “Love Of Reign” to complete this 12 track collection.

Available on vinyl, always good quality from Warp Records, CD, and for those that would rather buy just a few of the remixes, digital. An outstanding collection of remixes, which will mostly stand the test of time. Miss this at your own risk.

Wayne Stronell

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