Much like the rest of the world, Briefcvse is emphatically frustrated with quarantine’s daily doldrums. He’d rather be traveling through literal space Norrin Radd-style, surfing his way through the cosmos in search for lost planets to conquer before Earth reaches its demise (his official name on Soundcloud references the famed Silver Surfer).
Since this adventure won’t be happening anytime soon, the Boston musician must instead settle for a figurative expedition through the galaxy; one that replaces surfboards and rocket ships with droning synths and dusty boom-bap drums. Low Quality Demo’s is Briefcvse’s way of releasing pent-up emotion from the depths of his discouraged soul. The entire experience is a creeping pilgrimage through the everyday sludge of reality-a hopeless search for motivation.
Drawn out over 10 minutes, these seven songs thrive in a lo-fi existential pocket reminiscent of Akai Solo & Pink Siifu’s Black Everything. Due to its abrupt length, LQD doesn’t carry as much social introspection or detailed turmoil. There’s just not enough time too. Instead, Briefcvse wanders seamlessly through fleeting electric piano keys in hopes of finding mental liberation during a period of uncertainty.
His dissatisfaction prevails inside straightforward euphuisms and vocoded rapping (with a slight tone of sarcasm too). You know this album is going to be somewhat of a downer after “this sucks” is repeated a few times on the intro track across severed string samples that wouldn’t sound out of place during Death Star scenes in Star Wars.
When catastrophe strikes, human nature grants us access to various coping mechanisms and initial raw emotion (somewhat of a focal point on this album). Briefcvse acrimoniously succumbs to the cynical nature of our current world, but does so with a proud sense of self-awareness as shown on “Play Nice”-“Been in the kitchen I’m playing it safe/I keep complaining like squishing some grapes.”
Briefcvse attempts to rationalize the irrational fear on “Way Back When,” particularly with a short spoken word passage in the middle of the song. It’s unsurprising to see him so emotionally unstable. Any normal human being would feel conflicted and vulnerable as the pending apocalypse looms over our heads. The Boston native foresees a bleak future where time is limited and peace comes as frequent as ventilators from the Trump monarchy (“It feels like I don’t got a lot of time left/Wanna find peace, I don’t wanna get rest”).
LQD plays out like an uphill battle between Briefcvse and the dusty synth loops that radiates through the mix like deformed goo. The production on “Buried Deep” swallows the artist like a crashing wave during a hurricane, while “My Clone” finds the rapper reclaiming his spot in front of the swaying keys. The despair culminates on “quarantine,” an Earl Sweatshirt-inspired update on Brief’s new daily routine involving less showers and more movies. Fellow locals Jerome B and Premo.D provide their own perspective on the subject, using the ethereal platform to ventilate about the pleasures we take for granted (Call of Duty chats galore.).
My hope for Breifcvse is that he fleshes out these intriguing sounds past the initial raw emotion and fragmented thoughts. He has a clear ear for left field soundscapes and I’m curious to see where he goes with them next. For now though, he’s stuck in the desolation of space much like all of us.