Quicksand

producers: orphan, ognihs, troubadour, warhol. sseleman, others.

guests: distant relatives, baracuda72.
year of release: 2002
Even a tolerant man does not have to like everything. And he can say enough is enough when he sees fit. And with Noah23's good album "Quicksand", a moment is reached, where it just gets a little too much. The looming overdose of poetry rap, of personal journal entries is just crashing over us with a vengeance, and it distorts our opinion on this, as before described, good album. Check out this verse from the opening song "Saw Palmetto": "the cipher of a fool is still a perfect circle / black halo. cats cradle. Galileo tap the maple syrup / and erupt like a volcano / archangel whether in the temple or the stargate / I'm like saw palmetto up in hip hop's prostate / fabulous, throwing out the leaflets and zines / to feed the memes of the motormouth elohim, catalyst / seeding the ionic nanobot enzymes and / sending a quark up into the windchimes".

tracklisting
1. Saw Palmetto
2. Volapuk
3. Crypto Sporidian
4. Octave
5. Learning Curve
6. Resistance
7. Hourglass feat. Distant Relatives
8. Banded Hairstreak
9. Digestive Enzymes
10. Nocturnal
11. Imhotep
12. Guelph feat. Baracuda72
13. Zenith Dub
14. Julia Set
15. The Fall
How many people have I already lost? How many people understand this from the get go or even care to understand it? It must be obvious that to decipher this record can take a couple of spins. With the message at times being thrown out though, like on "Volapuk", where Noah somewhat sadistically asks "what if earth were the real heaven?". Or that he's 'claustrophobic in the global village.' We can get with lines like that. We however are lost in the words of "Octave", a song that features an incredible beat by Ognihs tough. It's rough, it's dark, it's evil, it's serious. But the lyrics are superficially mainly a lining up of words. And interestingly enough, an artist that is on the forefront of this poetry rap, told me that Noah has not yet accomplishing everything with the words that he tries too. But even that artist is conflicted, because at the same time he says he also likes Noah's music.
Because the talent, the skill, the doing good, just shows. The confidence and the well nourished style shows. And the beats are a strong argument too, as the Plague Language beat makers are good. And while we are only treated to one Ognihs track, Troubadour steps in with d'n'b influenced offerings on "Resistance", Orphan does a lot of songs, with "Banded Hairstreak" being one of with the least peaks, despite all the details. Only at the beginning however, as toward the end, the percussion and bleepy organ starts to be incredible. Orphan then also does the primarily simple and bass focused "Nocturnal", that at selected moments also features a haunted string section. Strings that are the centerpiece on his "Imhotep" beat, that's also really good.
The other producers are Lovely (on the grand orchestra "Digestive Enzymes"), Warhol (on the guitary and complex "Guelph"), Sseleman (on the wheeling "Zenith Dub"), Naval Aviator (on the somewhat too much intending "The Fall", despite some especially incredible parts) and Presto (on the Middle America mountain top stomper "Learning Curve") who all manage to create sounds that make sense to be on one collection.
That's the beats. What about some more lyrics example? Well, thanks to the help of ohhla.com, check this out: "I triple the syllable with a titanium telescope / medicine vehicle then I defeated the simpletons / taking a chance on the nanobot bicycle / delegate melting your element into a vacuous nebula / gravity gripping up everything / retina spotting the obvious entity / coagulate caligula" (from "Resistance"). And: "Molly Ringwald glossolalia ganglion / halcyon vector crescendo. diagnol anchor / canker sore. faith no more. one in the chamber. / rotisserie oblivion. slingvolt shiskabob. / squeaky fromme. symbiot. / kilopascal slackjaw alfalfa sprout. / working the graveyard paradigm shift" (from "Imhotep"). And thus(?) Noah says on "Julia Set" that the next album will come with a complimentary dictionary.
It's been said that tastes have a life cycle of about seven years. And I must admit that I have lost some of my patience when it comes to this type of hip hop. But because I know that, I can still say that this record is doing a lot right. And quality does not have a life span. It just has a life. The beats on here are definitely immortal. The lyrics are often just too much.
However, hold up. Before you say, I shall say it: I'm not lobbying for dumb lyrics. I'm never opposing the expression of a poet, a writer. That's not how we get down, woodie. This record, at least the lyrical aspect, still looses me at times. Because there's something about poems that makes me want to read 'em. Progress at my own pace. Have my heartbeat define the rhythm. And not beats. Not Noah. And again despite the beats on here being good. Despite Noah proving skills in the trade he chose. And also despite the artwork by Ryan Price being one of the best I saw in some time. It's a complicated ordeal to explain my impression. Maybe I should write a poem.
review: tadah
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