Clams Casino ‘Rainforest Ep’ 8.2 on Pitchfork (Posted By Harry)

Clams Casino On Pitchfork

Clams Casino On PitchforkClams Casino ‘Rainforest Ep’ (Tri Angle Records)

8.2 review on Pitchfork

Joe Colly, May 10, 2011

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. “The beats just sit around for months. It’s frustrating… Now, all I want to do is put out instrumental stuff,” he said.

So it’s no surprise that his latest release steps away from for-hire beatmaking to showcase original material, five tracks that “have always existed purely as instrumentals,” according to a press statement. Put out by the well-curated boutique imprint Tri Angle, the Rainforest EP is centered loosely on a terrestrial theme (song titles “Waterfalls” and “Treetop” not-so-subtly reference nature) and carefully balances some very earthy, textural sounds with more airy, celestial ones. For example, a track like opener “Natural” explores the tension between a tattered, grainy arrangement and float-y, angelic vocal samples– you can feel it pulling you in both directions.

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