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Ruel sang backup vocals on ‘Gold Chains’ and the title track. The teenage pop star and Owusu recently appeared together on the Billy Davis single ‘Dream No More’. The pair toured together in 2019. Per a tweet from Owusu, Ruel also features on an as-of-yet unreleased track.
More surprising is Corby’s contribution, who played all instruments on the punky ‘Black Dogs!’. Corby also produced and engineered the track.
Another contribution of note is Melbourne DJ Harvey Sutherland who produced and engineered ‘Easy’.
View the full album notes in a photo from the inner-album sheet via Owusu’s Instagram below.
Most of ‘Smiling With No Teeth’ was written and played with a superstar band organised by producer Andrew Klippel, featuring Touch Sensitive, Kirin J Callinan, Julian Sudek and Klippel himself on keys.
In NME‘s February cover story, Owusu and Klippel spoke about how the band bunkered down in a bedroom-sized Bondi studio for six days in April and November 2019 to jam for 10 hours at a time, through sweltering heat.
“[Owusu-Ansah] was a really strong presence in the room,” Klippel said. “The playing was all about implementing our interpretation of him as a person. It’s a pretty crazy situation, getting in a room with these totally new people and instantly disarming yourself. The room was so hot that everyone was just so uncomfortable. You couldn’t be bothered with being self-conscious anymore because it was so uncomfortable.”
Owusu trawled through each of the 10-hour jam recordings, picked out the timestamps for what he liked and edited them together, a process he called “jazz and punk in ethos”.
In a review, NME gave ‘Smiling With No Teeth’ four stars, with writer Cyclone Wehner describing it as “an ambitious concept album with a cerebral theme and experimental sonics, defined by the auteur’s curation – rapping, singing and directing”.
“‘Smiling’ isn’t ‘Australian hip-hop’ as you know it: Genesis’ avant-funk pushes boundaries and amplifies individualism and free expression.”