Guelph, ON's Plague Language crew do not disappoint with their first vinyl release, a split-twelve-inch from Noah23 and Baracuda72 to introduce their upcoming full-lengths. On the 23 side, Noah spits scientific stoner word associations that should be familiar to those who know his first album, Neophyte Phenotype. For others, a reference point might be Aesop Rock or Circus. What's surprising with the cryptically titled "Crypto Sporidian" is the unexpected retro hip-hop sound of Orphan's beat, possibly due to the drums and chorus. Not exactly what I was expecting from an MC known for melding his hip-hop with wild drum & bass beats. Of course, it turns out fresh, but it's the side 72 track "Deadly Rays" that is the real treat. Orphan supplies a banging, piano-heavy, neo-electo beat over which Baracuda72 and guest Noah23 drop slow-pitched, sci-fi B-boy-isms. There are no choruses or structure, just two MCs going back and forth, followed by storytelling samples and wicked cuts by DJ Presto. At nearly eight minutes its exposure may be a bit limited, but that would be unfortunate. Still, together these two tracks serve as a great introduction to the Plague Language crew, a name that may start cropping up more often on the Canadian hip-hop scene.
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