Gensu Dean, Lo-Fi Fingahz

Nate Patrin

By Nate Patrin

on 02.28.12 in Reviews
Hard-earned craftsmanship from a crate-digging, beat-building traditionalist

Texas-based Gensu Dean is a traditionalist about crate-digging and beat-building. He prefers pure vinyl source material, fed through a SP-1200 – just like back in the peak era of sampling, but fortunately manages to avoid the obvious selections. Lo-Fi Fingahz builds a savvy lineup of past collaborators (Brand Nubian, David Banner) and compatible vets (Large Professor, Roc Marciano), then sets them on a stockpile of beats that dig way down deep into the stacks. The breaks aren’t merely obscure for obscurity’s sake, though: The soul-jazz and deep funk vibes in cuts like “Fraction” and “Forever” are more fundamental than eccentric, never letting esoteric sources get in the way of a steady knock. And tracks like “In My Head” and “12 Jewels” wrap the classic boom-bap around synthesized analog sounds that weren’t yet in style 20 years previous but sound hot now. Think of this less like a take-it-back nostalgia trip and more like a work of hard-earned craftsmanship.