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Magna Carda, Crew 54, P-Tek
Magna Carda, Crew 54, P-tekHoly Mountain, Jan. 4
The initially light crowd swelled into a sizable Sunday night force despite the chill. A tall, bearded, corduroy-wearing slacker is what Scuare's appearance would lead you to believe – until he opens his mouth and delivers a multiplicity of flow. P-Tek joined the lanky MC before running through his own set, steeped in deep metaphor and associative word play. With a peaked audience, the fresh-faced Magna Carda transformed the event into a soulful jam session, filling a unique space between A Tribe Called Quest and the Internet. The band switched from call and response to raw instrumentation effortlessly, producing something of a Baptist revival at one point. Waco's synergetic Crew54 (and drummer Neo Soul) capped the evening with a set featuring what they termed "aggressive soul." The duo's nuanced skill and comfort onstage belied a confidence only found in authentic rap vets.