I first discovered Clams Casino a couple of years ago when I heard I'm God from Instrumental Mixtape 2, and I was mesmerized. It was ethereal and completely new, and remains one of my favorite songs of all time. But, unexpectedly, I found out this cloud-like song wasn't really meant to stand alone; rather it and every other Clams Casino song is usually meant to be used as background for something else. I'm God was used by Lil B, and his 300,000 views compared with the 3 million views for the fan-made video of this plain, untarnished song really says it all. Clams Casino is so polished and well-rounded it sounds nicer unaccompanied.
Clams Casino is the creation of suburban New Jersey producer Mike Volpe. He appeared in 2011 and began to set the stage for countless other producers, one of whom was involved in the making of Kanye West's Yeezus. His prominence continues with Instrumental Mixtape 3, the last in the series Volpe started.
There is something completely invigorating about these mixtapes because they are starkly simple yet so simultaneously complex. Listening to Instrumental Mixtape 3 straight through carries you through an endlessly coiling black hole of dazed bliss. The production couldn't be cleaner and more thoughtful. Some of it verges on being too simple for plain enjoyment. Yet, at the same time, the spaced-out, unassuming beats are perfect for doing homework or getting through an exam review.
The avant-garde melodic percussion and instrumentals are used by artists such as A$AP Rocky and Mac Miller. LongLiveA$AP probably owes a lot of its success to the genius of Clams Casino. LVL is the most familiar song from Mixtape 3 and A$AP Rocky does the song justice, definitely more so than Lil B with I'm God.
Clams Casino creates a hypnotic haziness in every song. The greatest appeal about this artist, though, is being able to hear the bare bones of the songs we typically hear. There is so much more that goes into that rap song on the radio, but not enough people realize the artistry put into the production. Especially when the foundation could turn out to be better than the finished product.
HANNAH ELLIOTT Robinson High