Genesis Hull Who Feels It, Knows It

[Duppy Gun Productions; 2014]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: post-“Ghost,” bathdub, improv cyberfucking, free riddim
Others: D/P/I, DJ Highwasteline, Velkro, Big Flite, Nice-A-Bunks, DJ Talus Glider, LORD $M$

Some brief history: Duppy Gun Productions spun out of Icon Give Thank — the ninth volume of RVNG Intl.’s FRKWYS series — where Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras [met] The Congos. While the fellas were down there, they filmed days’ worth of footage — alongside the deep eyes of Tony Lowe and Sam Fleischner — and recorded local singers “during the free spaces of time” for pre-made/working instrumental tracks, initiating a dynasty in kindhearted modern-day dancehall. Duppy Gun Prod. then released Multiply/Earth, which was their first 12-inch on Stones Throw. Similar to Sun Ark (Sun Araw’s Cameron Stallones, CEO) and “sister” label Drag City, Duppy Gun made their initial route (as Leaving Records recently did) as part of the Stones Throw catalog while still functioning independently: they just boasted a new homepage and continued uploading random chapters of videos on their YouTube channel.

Now, to celebrate Duppy Gun’s first full 2xLP release/compilation Multiply, Duppy Gun Prod. Vol 1, Genesis Hull (a.k.a. Alex Gray) has stepped up from the production team — which also currently consists of DJ Highwasteline (a.k.a. Matthewdavid), Duppy Founders (Velkro & Big Flite), Nice-A-Bunks (a.k.a. Aaron Coyes), and DJ Talus Glider (a.k.a. Butchy Fuego) — to release Who Feels It Knows It, a 12-track mix made for Dummy that serves as a primer for Duppy Gun producers and their associated singers, all of whom were found “through Okeme’s personal recommendations and hours of Youtube research.” If you’re a frequent Tiny Mix Tapes reader, you’ve an excellent idea of who and WHAT Alex Gray is to us. For years — even before D/P/I — Gray’s production work (including Heat Wave, PURPLE/IMAGE, and DJ Purple Image) was released on his own labels, Deep Tapes (R.I.P.) and D/P/I’s 08.DD.15 dropped on cassette at the beginning of the year, followed by RICO EP (also on cassette) in April, and his latest, MN.ROY on CD — all via Leaving Records. However, aside from Press Bookfa Press (Duppy Gun’s fourth 12-inch release), which features Gray on one full side — single-sung by main-stay Genesis Hull vocalist G Sudden and a (Dupp’d version) of that same single, “Girls Dem Need Mi” — none of the 2014 D/P/I releases were sold physically or digitally under the Stones Throw name. So what’s a brother gotta do when dem dice odds are way outside favorable, but scraps in the bone yard loom on the green? Answer: create an irrefutable fusion between bathdub and underground/E-side vocal tracks, and kick down the Stones Throw office door firing THOUSANDS of Duppy bullets, squibbing blanks.

Some of Who Feels It, Knows It’s more noticeable sound elements indicate two things: (1) It was produced live (listen for: nob twists, swerve stops, button mashing), and (2) Gray has locked in his branding operations fluidly. These two elements blend because they rely on each other aesthetically. By microrepeating an array of gun-fire/-cocking, “GENESIS HULL” and “Duppy Gun” drops, air horns, and sirens interwoven with vocals by G Sudden, Sikka Rymes, Princess Tyh, and Tussan, Gray can easily cover seams in production while simultaneously deploying his touchstone cap cai riddims and ultrasonic gurgling. It’s a timely M.O.: as celebz continue to utilize audible branding (e.g., Maybach Music, #YMCMB, DJ Khaled’s “We The Best”), Gray satire-jukes “GENESIS HULL” drops with similar attention-grabbing spam-submission methods that Lord $M$ and Paisley Parks flirt with. Also, what better way to homage the recently departed by using the Duppy label name (that literally means “ghost”) to audibly reflect one of DJ Rashad’s most notable tracks. Under the Duppy Gun Productions banner, Gray is updating Stones Throw’s sound with Who Feels It, Knows It, as if it were the perfect artist portfolio on how to politely, easily, and nearly unnoticeably widen their audience.

But what TYPE of “audience?” Well, if you can define “It” in the title, then you’re a good candidate. So, let me try to explain what “It” may be without spoiling the musical intentions of Who Feels It, Knows It. To me, “It” is the improvisational cyberfucked way Genesis Hull HD-jacks minds with free riddim witchcraft, absorbing and snapping at bubbles of psyche while remaining akin to common producer-driven mixing practices. During and after G Sudden’s vocal track, “RUN OUT PON DEM,” the “Arrowhead Riddim (Refix)” sounds like there’s broken glass inside, tinkering with all my brain cells and bouncing off bits of my dome like pop-rocks bumpin’ the club. Another time, I’m driving past a middle school (obviously maxing out my whip’s system) when Tussan’s “LOVE D WEED” vocals end and “Neva Seen Riddim (Refix)” shits clip-loads of bullets, and I’m thinking this might be the most expensive track on Who Feels It, Knows It because some cop gonna pull me over and ticket my ass (ACAB, though). Last night, I had to turn’t the mix down because I thought the audible hallucination was fucking with me, and I was right: sirens were going off because of a fire down the block from me. Thankfully, the (previously) self-proclaimed “nothing motherfucker” keeps me going every morning during a dreary commute to work, only this winter he serving up ESPRESSO DIGITAL by way of Duppy Gun Productions. Gray does everything he can to audibly spook the Genesis Hull name into your field of vision by way of singling out: Who Feels It, Knows It.

Links: Genesis Hull - Duppy Gun Productions

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