32 Levels, by Clams Casino
Even though Clams is no longer building tracks out of randomly downloaded songs, his music still has that feeling of displacement, of being unmoored. The astral drift of his sound is closer to, say, Boards Of Canada than it is to just about any big-name rap producer. Clams’ star really started to rise when he compiled the instrumental versions of the tracks he’d done with rappers like Lil B onto his Instrumental mixtapes; it turned out that their dazed, broken beauty tended to come through more cleanly when it didn’t have Lil B chanting random phrases over it. But on 32 Levels, his major-label debut, Clams has progressed into a great producer of songs, a real collaborator. And he’s done it without losing the dizzy unreality of his music. It’s quite a trick.