Clams Casino – Rainforest EP (Tri Angle)
by Scott Creney
I don’t care if it is just an EP. There’s more ideas on here than most albums. Hip-hop producer Mike Volpe’s made a name for himself working with Soulja Boy and Lil B, but Rainforest is an entirely different thing altogether.
More trip than hop, Clams Casino is brittle and vulnerable. The album is a retreat from urbanity, into a nature that is chaotic, unpredictable, and swollen with birth and decay. Rainforest simmers and pulses. It burns as it broods.
‘Natural’ is the sound of children playing around a busted-open fire hydrant on the hottest day of the summer. All of the participants, the kids, the water, the hydrant are moving in slow motion. You can see the sun reflecting off every sprayed drop.
This record makes me want to take mushrooms again. (Please send any care packages to Gordon Lamb c/o Flagpole, 112 South Foundry St., Athens, GA 30601). Compared to the forests of Clams Casino, this explosion of flavors and colors, Washed Out is nothing more than a gray twinkie.
A friend recently complained about this batch of electronic music I’ve been listening to lately. There’s no songs, she complained, just sounds. To which I responded, Have you heard the songs people are writing these days? I’ll take the sounds. Especially this one — an incomprehensible, distorted voice struggling to be heard above the washes of sound, interspersed with stuttering tap-dance snare drums.
Whether song or sound, there is something undeniably powerful going on here, an emotional quality that is all too rare in electronic, let alone hip-hop, let alone indie.
‘Gorilla’ is a slow moving raft heading upstream to find a Mister Kurtz who may or may not be dead.
Clams Casino is wearing camouflage pants and greasepaint, with a loud Hawaiian shirt.
Clams Casino is 3am crickets and running streams, tadpoles and mystery, a biosphere disguised as a collection of songs.
Clams Casino is ready to be studied.
Clams Casino is dense and thundering, a psychedelia to make all others seem quaint.
Clams Casino is worth several handfuls of your brain cells.