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Album Review

Unaffiliated Guelph, Ontario, musician Noah Brickley may have borrowed heavily from the Anticon ethic for this debut, but at least he had the good sense to break off from the American undie template before the blueprint swallowed his bounce. Even if Brickley's propensity for hyper-accelerated, nasal deliveries, perversely nonsensical lyrical runs, and static-tickled, loping beats point toward a slight case of Anticon-worship, this record still bumps along at a clip that handily outpaces most of the label's typically anaesthetized missteps. Nor is Quicksand's production cast in a perennial fog of dope smoke — the skittering "Resistance" contains a double-backed vocal melody/Rhodes line that wouldn't be out of place on a Roots single, the jubilant "Learning Curve" rests on a flute sample that'd make disciples of Paul's Boutique proud, and the cartoonish horn caterwauling of "Digestive Enzymes" — believe it or not — wouldn't be entirely out of place on a Busta Rhymes record. It's not all as spectacular as that, but even Quicksand's most patently derivative tracks still have ideas, and with only three of the album's 14 cuts surpassing the four-minute mark, nothing ever plods, which, for a bedroom hip-hop debut, is exceptional in and of itself.

Quicksand, Noah23
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