Spin - "32 LEVELS is a cogent, careful snapshot of Clams Casino in his element..."
NME (Magazine) - "He's dug deep to produce some of the most darkly beautiful tracks of his career: from the otherworldly electro of `Back To You' to the lush heaviness of album closer `Blast', there's a lot to get lost in on here."
Pitchfork (Website) - "The A-side consists of six satisfying rap songs, each of which leverage different facets of Clams' sound. Essentially, the first half of the record feels like a Lil B/Clams Casino album..."
Clash (magazine) - "Artists such as Kelela, Sam Dew and Mikky Ekko provide vocals for a collection of tracks which are much more pop-focused than anything we've ever heard from the producer before....32 LEVELS is a strong and enjoyable album..."
Audio Mixer: Tom Elmhirst.
Recording information: Clockwork Studios, Van Nuys, CA; Cutting Room, New York, NY; Paramount Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Strongroom Studios, London, UK; The Casino, Nashville, TN; The End, Brooklyn, NY; The shop Studios, Richmond, CA; The Vault, Nashville, TN.
Photographer: Nick Griffiths.
In the way that dubstep artist Burial dominated the left-leaning bit of his genre, the equally mysterious Mike Volpe, aka Clams Casino, slinked through the experimental side of hardcore rap and became a renowned figure with only a few interviews, some scattered releases, and a very humble attitude. The proof was always in the pudding as his woozy work for Lil B and A$AP Rocky helped break those artists, while remixes for Lana Del Rey and Big K.R.I.T. made them instantly cooler. Now his official full-length debut album triple underlines this importance as it grinds and echoes in the style of U.K. producer the Bug, but these dark constructions offer artists like Lil B and A$AP Rocky the required grooves on which to rhyme. There's also worthy musical terrain for pop singers like Future Islands' Samuel T. Herring, who uses highlight "Ghost in a Kiss" to channel both his inner Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave. The beautiful and strange "Back to You" sounds like a Major Lazer cut melting into something riveting and onyx-colored, but hip-hop is still the most fruitful genre for Clams, as the swaying "32 Levels" with Lil B and Joe Newman is the album's key cut, its title cut, and as Lil B would say, it's "evocative AF." "Be Somebody" with Rocky and B brings the dark in a hooky way, as does the crossover-worthy "All Nite" with Vince Staples, and with so many vocalists taking their turns, the album is still cohesive as they come. Call it based, cloud rap, or crumble core, but whatever the subgenre, Clams Casino's vanguard style now comes in a near-perfect package dubbed 32 Levels. ~ David Jeffries