With A Sufi And A Killer, the mysterious LA music-maker Gonjasufi, above, made one of my surprise album highlights of 2010 – a genre-jumping record meshing his dusty vocals with electronica, indie hip-hop, hazy psychedelia, occasional rock impulses and a dash of eastern mysticism.
After an EP a month or so ago, he officially follows that LP with a mini album called MU.ZZ.LE, released in January on Warp. The first track to emerge from it is "Nikels & Dimes", which is available free at warp.net/records/gonjasufi. Full of shuffling beats, sonic detail and a soulful vocal croak, it suggests Gonjasufi's good run of form will continue.
A big hand for the piano man
The brilliant American contemporary/experimental composer David Lang has a new recording of works for solo piano called This Was Written By Hand, performed by the British pianist Andrew Zolinsky. To mark the release, Lang has kicked off a competition that is a must for any serious classical pianist: one of the pieces is called "wed' and Lang is inviting all-comers to upload a video of themselves performing it by 31 December. A panel of judges will pick their favourite and the winner will be flown to New York to perform in May at the esteemed venue Le Pousson Rouge – the winner will play "wed" on stage and perform with Zolinsky in a world premiere of a new composition by Lang. Details of the competition, including a download of the sheet music for "wed", are at digital. schirmer.com/lang-contest.
Ain't no sunshine where they're from
Sunless '97 are an up-and-coming London trio (sunless97. tumblr.com). On Monday they released their debut EP, Making Waves, produced by the equally up-and-coming Kwes. The four-track record is released on limited-edition vinyl and digitally – it can be found at ind.pn/uSswhl and on iTunes. Two tracks from the release are on their Soundcloud page at ind.pn/sX6FSC, and they showcase their fine way with dreamy, off-kilter electro-pop with an experimental tinge.
Kitted out for electronica duty
The Irish singer-songwriter David Kitt has a new side project with a fellow by the name of Diamond Dagger. Under the moniker New Jackson, they're releasing a four-track EP, The Night Mail, a collection of electronica workouts built from low-key house elements. It's released in a few weeks on vinyl and MP3, and is the third release on the Dublin electro label Pogo Recordings. It can be found at ind.pn/uBuRCt and ind.pn/ueR3tA. The vocoder-heavy title track is a sparkling effort of gently driving bleeps and beats – it comes also with a nice stop-motion video. Watch it at vimeo.com/32646874.