GonjasufiGonjasufi – or Sumach Valentine as his yoga students might know him – has produced one of the most eclectic and exciting records likely to hit the shelves or scuttle down the phonelines this year.That A Sufi and A Killer is produced by such talents as Flying Lotus, Mainframe and The Gaslamp Killer, has seen the album labelled as the new guiding light for hip-hop. The truth is that there is much more to this album than just hip-hop. It straddles music like a stoned colossus, brushes blims from its dressing gown and puts its best sandal clad foot forward. Its mind is suitably free to allow its ass to follow.The Eastern chants of 'Bharatanatyam' that open the album suggest  some kind of transcendental meditation may be necessary in order to enjoy what follows. However, such thoughts are quickly dispensed when 'Kobwebz' steps into the fray. A sparse desert-rock tune that is drenched in peyote juice, 'Kobwebz' kicks the notion of mediation into touch and stuffs a tab of acid under your tongue. Spaced-out sounds echo and morph as the hypnotic groove pulls you into Gonjasufi's psychedelic world, where it is perfectly reasonable to conclude thanks to the gruff, delay soaked vocals, Gonjasufi assumes the role of a demented grizzled preacher.Ancestors ticks the hip-hop box, but is so laid-back that it has to have its pulse checked every couple of minutes. Gonjasufi's vocals are now cracked and damaged, exploring a higher register, which is apparently entirely alien to his vocal chords. For some reason it works magically. 'Kowboyz&Indians' explores similar territory to that of Tricky and Portishead's second album. It is a dark and trippy experience that despite the ponderous groove that propels it manages to shred the nerves with ease. When the Eurocentric 'Sheep' appears, it is initially a jarring experience as it appears to be so out of place. A few spins of the album later, and it makes perfect sense, but when first encountered the image of Gonjasufi on a romantic bicycle ride with Serge Gainsbourg, enjoying a wheel of cheese surrounded by a lush green landscape is hard to come to terms with.'She Gone' taps into a rolling Sixties sound, somewhere between 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' and 'Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)'. By now Gonjasufi's vocals are in league with Tom Waits; all grizzled and bordering on the incoherent. In other words, it's brilliant.That 'Suzie Q' steals its schtick from The Stooges matters not a jot. This invigorating riot of punk attitude thunders out of the speakers like a super charged convertible being driven by a wild eyed Iggy Pop. Naturally Gonjasufi is in the back jabbering away like Grandpa Simpson.A Sufi And A Killer is awash with ideas and snippets of almost any kind of music you dare to mention. Desert rock ('Stardusting'), Eastern spirituals, hip hop ('Love of Reign'), trip hop, ska, funk (the wonderful bass squelch 'Candyland') and speakeasy jazz all get brief appearances. The only constant throughout the album is Gonjasufi's ability to refract all those genres through a fucked-up prism that gives them a psychedelic tint, and renders them slightly disconcerting. Yet somehow everything here is always completely welcoming.It could just be that this remarkably confusing but expertly conceived record will be right up there come December as one of the year's best. It is utterly spell-binding.RECOMMENDED