Get Familiar: Clams Casino (and the rap producer's spaced-out based beats)

Meet Clams Casino, aka Mike Volpe, a 23-year-old physical therapy student who just so happens to be making some of the most left-field, warmest and striking hip-hop beats today. He's worked with Soulja Boy and, most notably, Lil B, the Based God. (Without Clams Casino, the web-obsessed #based movement may exist, but it wouldn't capture its welcoming, earnest core.) Part Dilla, part Toro Y Moi's Causers of This, a Clams Casino beat is stark but genuinely moving, resonating with that wondrous sense of losing yourself in headphones -- call it glitchy, digital sadness. In a Village Voice interview with b contributor Brandon Soderberg, Volpe called producing "a hobby right now" with no interest of "going all in," but you have to wonder how long he'll hold out. His excellent instrumental mixtape has garnered rave reviews, and the glowing press has started to pile up. (He put it out for free, so put your Google hard-hat on to find it. It's worth it.) To celebrate Volpe's quick rise and beautiful work, here's a small sampling of my favorite Clams Casino productions. For more info on Clams Casino, follow his Twitter, and read his other well-done interviews at Pitchfork and Space Age Hustle.
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