Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape

by Nathan Goldman (Computer Science/Cognitive Psychology), published May 18th 2011

Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!

There’s an eternal bias in music for all of the audience’s credit and recognition to go to performers, often leaving people such as writers and producers in the shadows. While rapper/producers such as Kanye West, Dr. Dre, and RZA receive wide recognition for both aspects of their work, but producers who don’t rap tend to only be known in smaller circles of the hip-hop community. Up-and-coming producer Clams Casino, for instance, is defining the so-called ‘€œbased’€ style that has recently achieved cult popularity, yet most of his acclaim goes to collaborators of his such as Lil B. Perhaps as a reaction to this, or as a service to the fans familiar with his name, Clams recently released a free mixtape of some of his best beats.

Clams Casino works with a rather unconventional sound, filling his tracks with hazy synths and keyboards that create fuzzy soundscapes that you can lose yourself in. Into these soundscapes often enter samples of female vocalists such as Adele, Janelle Monáe, and Björk, which he often slurs or slows down to complement the song’s texture. Other tracks contain aspects more unconventional in hip-hop, such as ‘€œThe World Needs Change,’€ which lacks drums altogether, or ‘€œBrainwash by London,’€ which contains what could perhaps be called ‘€˜primal screams.’ As elements are brought in and out and dynamics are keenly manipulated, songs feel very organic, with loose, natural and unrestrained structures.

More than just being decent beats for the rappers Clams works with, these songs stand well by themselves. For instance, not only is it great to hear ‘€œAll I Need’€ without Soulja Boy’s incompetent barking stumbling all over it, but the beats’ subtleties can be better appreciated without vocals getting in the way. The same can be said for all Clams Casino’s beats, making this mixtape a fantastic listen in its own right.

Recommended Tracks: Motivation, All I Need, Numb, Illest Alive

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