Highly acclaimed Chula Vista, CA-born, Washington, DC-based producer, electronic music artist, actor and yoga teacher Sumach Ecks is the son of a Mexican mother and an American-Ethiopian father — and in electronic music circles is best known as Gonjasufi. Interestingly, Ecks’ recording career began in earnest in the early 1990s when he began recording and releasing music within San Diego‘s hip-hop scene as a member of the Masters of the Universe crew and as a member of Plant Lyphe. Ecks gained attention from the folks at Warp Records after making a guest appearance on Flying Lotus‘ Los Angeles, and the renowned indie electronic label signed him and released his 2010 full-length debut A Sufi and a Killer, an effort that received praise for a sound that meshed hip-hop-leading beats with psychedelia and other genres and for a voice that some critics have described as the spiritual offspring of George Clinton and Lead Belly — although to my ears, his work reminds me of Tricky.
Ecks’ soon-to-be released effort Callus is reportedly his most soul-baring and cathartic material released to date as the album thematically is about embracing pain, hurt and anger to create something that could potentially resonate with someone else. The album’s fourth and latest single “Vinaigrette” finds the renowned producer and electronic music artist pairing layers of abrasive and droning synths, propulsive drumming, wobbling and buzzing guitar and equally wobbling bass, industrial clang and clatter with Ecks’ croaky, aching vocals singing a song that’s actually quite playful. As Ecks explains in press notes “The truth is I wasn’t trying to get too serious with this song. It was recorded when the world was in a better place, hence the mood is light. I imagined a runway model struggling with her own skewed perception. A girl who was trying to run away from herself, only to find out she only has herself at the end of the day.”
The recently released music video is shot in a cinematic black and white for the first 2/3rds of the video and nods at Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill, Vol 1. and others, as it features a contemplative female protagonist, who hits the road and literally runs away only to be hopelessly trapped within her own subjective interiority. No matter what, her own thoughts, memories and perceptions follow her along, and in a subtle fashion the video will remind the viewer that the only one you’ll ever have is yourself.