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- Rainforest by Clams Casino
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 24 June 2011
I don't claim to be as up with the scene as I used to be but I've enjoyed almost everything I've heard on the Tri Angle label over the past year or so. Phil tells me that this new one is by one of the hottest producers in the world right now (he's sat on the radiator), New Jersey native Michael Volpe, who has worked with Lil B and Soulja Boy. It's impressive stuff, if very typical of a lot of the overdriven chunky sounds emerging from American producers these days. Taking initial cues from Dilla/Madlib's lopsided rhythms, a smattering of prime time Prefuse 73 alongside your Washed Out and co hazy retro-beats. It's an ethereal otherworldly sound, all instrumental save for vocal samples it marries simmering electronic distortion with simple but heavy beats and heavily affected/vocodered voice twists. On the flip (or it could be the A side, who knows?) the opening gambit has a fine dancehall inspired vocal sample which is twisted in a way that recalls prime time Aphex Twin, 'Windowlicker' era, drooping down to simple bass. This is followed by a full on drum and string sample assault with heavy-as-winter-cold bass. Beats a little uninspired on this piece but it's the only criticism in a record of rare excellence throughout.
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