Listening to aghast’s songs feels like wading knee-deep in dirty dust. They’re alluringly murky tracks drowning in gunshots, washed-out synths and noises that sound like laptop error messages. “Thas whut i do” is SoundCloud rap for Zoomers nursed on a combo of Lil Pump’s “Boss,” Call of Duty edits, Sonic, and anime. It’s all endorphins and waviness and catchy lyrics loaded with low-syllable-count words (someone hilariously edited the Genius lyric page with more sophisticated versions of the bars). The lo-fi beat goes glitch-crazy at the start and then gives way to this eerie, menacing synth and a sample about demon energy from the anime Yu Yu Hakusho. aghast’s vocals are squeaky (he’s young) yet commanding, like a 12-year-old YouTuber trying to act “hard” in a vlog. But it kinda works in a surreal way, the style suiting the feculent beat. His vocals seem to slide and skate over the instrumental as it bends back and forth, the synths contorting up and down like an astral ballerina playing a demented game of Martian limbo. The whole thing only lasts 54 seconds.
The sickly “Mad” (prod. kkei3) and “diss 2 my haterz” (prod. lungskull), a track inundated with a Royalty Free Audio Library’s worth of sound FX (coughing, the Roblox “oof” noise, a car accelerating, gunshots, a bird chirp, a crowd gasp), also boil my blood.
There’s a mesmerizing simplicity to these songs—just a narcotic synth, distorted voice, and uproar of effects. You can tell they were produced on a program like Audacity or Garageband. Barely any other rapper does a better version of this kind of sludgy and lethargic yet also supercharged, up-tempo FX insanity.
Check out aghast: