The eccentric underground legend is back
“Let’s take a trip,” is the best way to describe Space Goretex, the latest LP from Kool Keith and Thetan. The South Bronx native gained a name for himself while in the group Ultramagnetic MCs in 1988. It wasn’t until he dropped his solo debut project, Dr. Octagonecologyst, that he was able to gain an underground following. Since that tape dropped in 1995, he has released multiple LP’s and created several different personas throughout. Space Goretex invites these alter egos, as well as collaborations, to create this trip that true fans of Kool Keith will be first in line for.
After releasing a single with them, Kool Keith brought Nashville powerviolence duo, Thetan, to collaborate on Space Goretex. The dark and unsettling instrumentation made up of mostly heavy bass, tight drum patterns and siren synths makes appearances throughout the project. Despite the eerie and supernatural sound, it emulates a hip hop beat that works against Kool Keith’s raunchy and bizarre lyricism. With some of the features including Casey Orr (Gwar), Gangsta Boo (Three 6 Mafia), Ashley Mae (Lost Dog Street Band), Blag Dahlia (Dwarves), Uncle Tom Bowker (Blowfly) and DJ Black Cat Sylvester, there is nothing short of rock-influenced beats and bars being spread across the album.
Despite the LP being 15 tracks long, only eight of them are actually songs. The remaining tracks are in the forms of interludes and skits that seem out of place and random. The songs themselves, while staying true to Kool Keith’s style, seem a little repetitive in production and lyricism. The tracks with a little bit of originality to them are “Let’s Take A Trip,” “Nite Heist” and “Complicated Trip.” “Let’s Take A Trip” has a simpler beat, with this synth and electric guitar riff echoing throughout. The flow itself is from Dr. Octagon, one of the alter egos. “Nite Heist” is simple as well, with a space whir synth faintly in the back. The other egos, Black Elvis and Dr. Doom, team up on this track with lyrics that blend in smoothly against the minimalistic production. The heavy pornocore, “Complicated Trip” brings all personas together to create the perfect Kool Keith track. The drum patterns are consistent and sharp and the electric guitar is piercing against the foul-mouthed lyrics.
Overall, Space Goretex is not for everyone. For fans of Kool Keith, this is exciting, fun and expected of the seasoned rapper. For those who are just now tuning in, it’s definitely confusing. Nevertheless, Kool Keith is unapologetically himself decades after debuting, and Space Goretex proves that mentality is not going away anytime soon.