Release Date: Jul 5, 2011
Record label: Tri Angle
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap
The takeaway from Clams Casino's recent Instrumental Mixtape, which featured his productions for rappers like Lil B and Soulja Boy, was how well his beats stood on their own. You didn't need a "based" freestyle on top of a track like "Motivation" to appreciate all its great warmth and texture, and in many cases the songs actually worked better without a rapper. Clams (real name Mike Volpe) even echoed this sentiment in a recent interview with us, suggesting that he enjoyed doing vocal-less work more, partly because of the logistical hurdles involved in linking up with MCs.
This is the first official solo release from Mike Volpe, aka Clams Casino, unlikely provider of beats for Lil B, Havoc, Main Attrakionz, and Squadda B. Earlier in 2011, Volpe issued a free-download compilation of instrumentals he had granted to rappers. Here, he assembles a conceptual 18-minute EP from leftover beats, which further showcases his form of left-field hip-hop -- an affecting, dreamlike, decayed din that incorporates voice samples twisted to such an extent that they sound sourced from torture victims and brokenhearted zombies.
Clams Casino’s productions seem to fill an almost spiritual need in the internet era of rap music. Commenters on YouTube who know nothing about Clams Casino grow inexplicably reverent in the presence of these beats. The usual “your gay” comments are rapidly shushed. Some listeners go so far as to loop intros to songs using Clams Casino beats in an effort to create endless, instrumental hymns.