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Rainforest - EP

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Album Review

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. Despite the artwork, track titles, and environmental FX, Rainforest evokes a damp, mossy urban prairie. It’s not easy to imagine any remotely lucid MC’ing over any of it, as the constructions tend to be denser than Clams' vocal productions and rattle, thwack, and creep along. It's all the more twisted that the tracks come not from one of the Tri Angle label's “mysterious” artists but a traditionally photographed, normal-looking fellow from suburban New Jersey who lives with his mom, makes music in his attic, and drives a BMW.


Born: New Jersey

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

One of the more creative left-field hip-hop figures to surface during the late 2000s/early 2010s, New Jersey-based producer Clams Casino landed his first collaboration after contacting the Pack's Lil B via MySpace. The MC proceeded to use several Clams Casino productions, all of which were trippy, wistful, and strangely emotive, for the likes of “Realist Alive,” “Motivation,” and “I’m God” (the latter of which was also used by Soulja Boy for “2 Milli”). Clams' profile gradually raised as word got...
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Rainforest - EP, Clams Casino
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