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Clams Casino – Rainforest review

There’s not much to find out about Clams Casino at this very early stage in his career, other than the fact that he’s supposedly produced for Soulja Boy and Lil B amongst others. However there’s enough detail in the music on his first release proper to keep you entertained without any concerns about context. As the rapper credits might suggest, hip-hop provides something of a starting point for the Rainforest EP, but it stops at the beat and the tempo. Indeed those rhythmic elements tick away reliably throughout the tracks, while the immersive melodic content yowls and groans to fill in the space in magnificent fashion.

There’s something undeniably post-rock about the constructions, where distended vocal murmurs flit around minor chord progressions played on bombastic samples that echo up into space, something akin to the atmosphere Sigur Ros can craft around themselves. What’s even more remarkable is just how long each three-minute track feels as it progresses. The “Rainforest” title is an apt one, which is explicitly demonstrated on the equally fitting “Treetop” with its insect chirrups and tweets. Really though the whole EP huffs and pants with organic intent, perversely aided by the budget drum beats that play second fiddle to the wildlife.

Naivety is certainly the key with this record. Any sense of over-production would tarnish the natural charm the tracks purvey, which makes you wonder how Clams Casino’s career will progress from here. If he were never to learn any more about the mechanics of music making, you could imagine he would still turn out arresting and emotionally rich EPs like this one.

Oli Warwick