Clams Casino: Rainforest (Tri Angle)
What a wonderful and weird EP this is. Mike Volpe’s synth creations blur boundaries between genres, but the focus is somewhere between hazy instrumental IDM and downtempo grooves. His tracks share the same affinity to synthesis that artists like Laurel Halo have. It lends the music a woozy, unpredictable quality — though the overall sound is quite palatable, many of its sounds are strange and “off” sounding. Voices move in and out of the mix, usually pitch bent and incoherent as disorienting additive elements, while synths oscillate and bend overhead drowsy downtempo drum loops. There’s an elegance to these tracks that is subtle, because so many of the sounds are rough around the edges, but the attention to detail is superb. Despite the pile-on of sounds, there’s a confident stride to many of these tracks, especially the closing track “Gorilla.” Highly, highly recommended.