Putting aside the quirkiness of the concept here, “No Brakes” by “The Quantum Plane” is an undeniably addictive piece of music with a melodic groove and dreamlike ambiance that work hard to draw you in and keep you captivated. The dark and somewhat brooding aura of the song reaches out and connects in a surprising way, particularly for a release that uses a famous person’s assets to explore the depth or size of their own dreams.
Everything about the song works hard to make certain you’re left thinking about it or singing it through in your mind. The Quantum Plane as an artist has a certain image and approach to creativity that invites curiosity and intrigue. Having listened to a couple of his earlier releases, this one has a notably more mellow vibe, leaning more in the direction of rap and hip-hop than the heavier, rap inspired offerings from before. The soundscape in this case is really well crafted, the instrumental choices work perfectly, the chord progression has this mildly melancholy, reflective mood about it.
Melodically the song keeps things distinctly simple. This decision is one that again reinforces that sense of anxiety or uncertainty. The simple repetition furthers this. The song has a simple sense of movement, repeating only a few distinct phrases of melody and keeping the ambiance consistent despite one or two well placed structural breaks. The more you listen, the more this initially dark seeming ambiance evolves into something hopeful and bright. You can hear it in any number of ways, as is the rap code. The lower notes of the melody feel melancholy, the higher ones feel optimistic. It’s up to you what you take away from it. The artist’s honesty is unquestionable, his songs feel like diary entries, the music seems to connect directly to the emotions that have crafted it, so the realness is quite powerful.
At around the minute and a half mark, the musicianship sees things move in a totally new direction – there’s space, adding impact to what follows, and then the rhythm and energy of it all start to rise and rise, leading boldly towards those final few moments of volume and passion. This is where the rap sound really comes through – the distortion, the raw vibrancy, the angst. The song is unusual for all of these reasons and more. It’s undoubtedly characterful and the performances make for a pretty memorable experience.