38KEA


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Mental Weapon (2020), 5/10
Seeds Thy Divine Thresher (2021), 6.5/10
Into Your Eye, I've Found, My Everything (2021), 5.5/10
More Seeds? Take the Seeds! (2021), 5/10
Keeper (2022), 6/10
10,000 Roach (2023), 4/10
Hermeneutics I (2023)
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Virginia's rapper Keaton "38KEA" Transue (aka Agnarkea) debuted with the mixtape Mental Weapon (2020), a naive effort but one that already displayed his passion for neurotic soundscapes. The harsh cacophony The Mind is almost musique concrete, On an Apex Ride is built around a sophisticated interplay of complex beats and muffled vocals, and a moving melody rises from the spastic industrial noise of Shades of Green.

Seeds Thy Divine Thresher (2021) contains 22 songs but about half of them are just one-minute sketches. The catchy Fill the Cup Up, the somnolent The Power Inherent, the robotic litany I Wrote N I Soul and especially the dizzying acid-hop Blessup explore a vast stylistic range. The mood shifts all the time, with an attractive nadir of emotion in the lethargic and/or drunk Group Home and in the ethereal and dreamy God Bless the Child.

Just three months later he packed a dozen more tracks on Into Your Eye, I've Found, My Everything (2021), but, again most of them are barely sketched. There is no denying the charm of miniatures like the beat-less mantra I'm Here, of the psychedelic ambience of Into your Eye and of the glitchy and foggy I've Found, but this feels like a collection of unfinished leftovers, with the ecstatic/surrealistic collage art Could Never Look Away showing that he could be a lot more ambitious.

There are only five songs, out of 13, that last longer than two minutes on More Seeds? Take the Seeds! (2021). Definitely a collection of leftovers.

The highlights of Keeper (2022), a better produced work, are the psychedelic guitar-driven romps of Freedom Tap Water and Anti, the skittish litany Profissional and electronic collages like The Waistdeep Funk.

The nine-song mini-album The Hawk and the Nightingale (2023) doesn't feel a 38KEA recording: too smooth and straightforward.

10,000 Roach (2023) is more spoken-word than music, and in a rather monotonous voice.

(Copyright © 2024 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )