Gonjasufi – MU.ZZ.LE Gonjasufi – MU.ZZ.LE

A mixture of rugged psychedelica and hazy trip-hop, Gonjasufi’s A Sufi And A Killer was first and foremost an album that focused on mood. It was a good record in this respect; cohesive yet idiosyncratic enough that each new listen was rewarding. But what made Californian Sumach Eck’s debut full length a 2010 standout was the clever song writing woven throughout. Songs like ‘Sheep’ and the naval-gazing ‘Holidays’ are brilliant songs in their own right- somewhat at odds with the druggy-shaman tag that Ecks has been given. Almost an added bonus to these individual moments was the satisfying groups of tracks that flowed into each other on A Sufi And A Killer; clumps of songs like ‘Change’, ‘Duet’ and ‘Candylane’ were brilliant two minute something nuggets that kept an hour long album moving forward so effortlessly that it seemed to last half the time. By sharp contrast, Gonjasufi’s second album proper clocks in at just under twenty-five minutes- and trundles along rather lethargically.

Eck’s sound is still essentially here. ‘Feedin’ Birds’ is unmistakeably a Gonjasufi track, complete with drowsy guitar chords and Ecks’ usual cracked vocal. ‘Nikels & Dimes’ is an ethereal middle-eastern number that warbles with indecipherable electronica as its background. There’s even glimmers of the sort of moments that made his previous works special on ‘The Blame’, where Ecks shows off his best lyrically as well as musically, “I’m not the perfect man and I never claimed to be/ I’ve done some things in my time and even I’m ashamed of me”. It appears towards the album’s end as an unexpected slice of electro pop, and it’s actually one of MU.ZZ.LE‘s longest tracks- yet true to his best it zooms by. It’s moments like the bizarre closer ‘Sniffin” and the awkward ‘Venom’ that drag MU.ZZ.LE down (the latter involves Ecks saying “Venom” a lot), and it’s a shame that as such it must go down as a ‘difficult second album’- if a lean twenty five minutes counts as an album at all. It’s worth noting that A Sufi And A Killer was named thus for a reason- L.A. DJ The Gaslamp Killer had a big hand in production and beats on that album. It may be impossible to tell if MU.ZZ.LE is just an awkward next step away from a perfect-fit collaboration, or whether it’s just a case of second album syndrome for Ecks himself.

01 – White Picket Fence
02 – Feedin’ Birds
03 – Nikels And Dimes
04 – Rubberband
05 – Venom
06 – Timeout
07 – Skin
08 – The Blame
09 – Blaksuit
10 – Sniffin’

Gonjasufi - MU.ZZ.LE, reviewed by Lemon on 2012-02-08T09:15:26-08:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

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