Mike Volpe, known to hip-hop and electronic music fans as Clams Casino or Clammy Clams, started making beats in high school as a hobby. Though he’s found widespread acclaim as a producer, working with rappers like Lil B, A$AP Rocky, and Mac Miller, he still considers beat-making a hobby. He’s even got a full-time job as a physical therapist at a hospital. How many Pitchfork-approved blog buzz superstars can say that?
A New Jersey resident, Clams got his start in 2007, as many hip-hop producers do (Lex Luger instantly comes to mind), through messaging aspiring rappers via Myspace, and sending them beats. A well-timed message to rising Bay-area phenomenon Lil B exposed Clams to a wide audience, after the Based God rapped on and released several of his dreamy instrumentals, including the earth-shattering, Imogen Heap-sampling beat for “I’m God.”
Clams Casino’s production style is heavily sample-based. He’s known for offsetting heavily effected and twisted female vocal samples (Imogen Heap, Adele, Björk, Janelle Monae) with emotionally evocative, dream-like soundscapes, and massive-sounding, schizophrenic drum patterns. Let’s check out some of his best productions for this edition of the Producer Mixtape.