Sumach Ecks, better known as Gonjasufi is an American experimental/hip-hop/rock artist that combines a focus on making indescribable music and a large value upon simply using every tool at his disposal to create one of the strangest, most thought-provoking pieces of music coming from an artist. His record, Callus is a journey of sound that qualifies closer to a lo-fi and crunchy approach to most of the 19 tracks present and keeps a substantial move to capture the ever-progressing threat of too much sound at once. Callus is at times, hard to follow as it moves in slow, collective jumps but contains many different elements that makes it sound like nothing else. Distortion, aggression, and depressive qualities are present to display the bulk of the sound, and Gonjasufi uses these elements to his advantage, stemming experimental ability into a full, near-hour ride through hell.
Callus can be put under the guise of experimental and psychedelic, but not in the way that most would imagine a psychedelic experience. Gonjasufi illustrates an incredible use of production to create a storyboard for Callus, almost beginning with a sludge-rock style. “Your Maker” is the start for one of the strangest records to be stumbled across. It opens promisingly; the simple but substantial drum beat of basic snare and bass sounds like a garage kit and makes for something that is easy to follow. This beat stays consistent through “Your Maker” but is also played with through multiple distortion effects and sampling that loops over the drums to create a deeper level of layering into the mostly straight-forward beginning. Once Gonjasufi begins to open his is voice is however, where the tracks start to mostly fall flat.
Once again, the production here is solid and while almost falling into the noise genre, they are morose, foreboding, and keep a consistent theme of darkness, but the singing from Gonjasufi almost ruins these tracks as they are always out of key and sound so off beat. On tracks like “Afrikan Spaceship,” and “Prints of Sin,” the singing is not terrible, even if “Prints of Sin” sounds like the microphone is jammed in his mouth. The production is going to be the thing that keeps Callus moving alive and well, it is so well done and captures the lo-fi sound incredibly. Perfect examples are “Krishna Punk,” “Maniac Depressant,” and “When I Die” are wonderful. Even the vocal aspects are done tastefully and are great ranges between faster paced and slowed crawls.
Callus is an album that needs to be taken as an experimental mess of sound, it has rhythm and shows pockets of potential, but overall is noisy and off-putting at a first glance. Through the multiple times I have listened to it, I enjoy the record and can make it past the singing and sections of ear destroying noise with ease. It could multiple listens, but Gonjasufi does a fantastic on giving a creeping death to sound.