New Bliss-Hop From Clams Casino and Lee Bannon


by Brandon Soderberg
Clams Casino
Clams Casino

If you're the type who waited around for the 'Swervin' instrumental last night, try 'Fantastic Plastic'

Early this morning, Clams Casino posted the instrumental to his remix of XV's "Swervin" on Twitter (download Clams Casino's "Swervin"). It's the least well known of the official remixes he did last year (a sunny take on Big K.R.I.T.'s "Moon & Stars," and perfunctory fuzz-ups of Lana Del Rey and Washed Out), but it is the closest to his lambent work on Instrumentals and Rainforest. Hearing the track without the nimble, youthful raps of XV gives listeners a window into Clams Casino's approach to remixing. He slows down producer Seven's original beat so that every synth and snare spreads out and endlessly echoes, adds some ghostly hiccups, and turns the cheery, Wiz Khalifa-ness of the original into a more appropriate soundtrack for a song about drugged-up, drunk driving.

If you're a dork like me who stayed up late waiting for @ClammyClams to drop that promised instrumental, then I suggest you check out Sacramento producer Lee Bannon's album Fantastic Plastic, out this week. Bannon productions like "Phone Drone," a drunk trumpet vamp scoring a guy excitedly yelling about his iPhone 4 (“I got video chat in this motherfuckaaaaaaa!!!”), and "Search & Destroy" — one half awesome, chilled-out Chuck Inglish rap song, the other half, a drill & bass Dilla Donuts surge — sound like Flying Lotus' fractured maximalism being absorbed by the blobby sprawl of whatever it is that's going on with New Underground instrumental hip-hop right now. That phrase, "search and destroy," actually describes how Bannon approaches beatmaking, quite well: He finds a sound or sample and then rips it up into unrecognizable pieces of noisy, ambient sound. And though the scattered glitching production here owes as much to say, Oval's CD skipping, binary-code crunching electronica as it does J. Dilla and Flying Lotus, the guest MCs never get lost in Bannon's buzzes and hums. Diamond District's YU delivers Sun Ra-like visions of musical utopia on the title track, and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien's appearance on "The Things" anchors Fantastic Plastic, just as it hits its crazed, broken peak. Also, if you follow Lee Bannon on Tumblr, you may have noticed this teaser image, which seems to suggest a collaboration with Atlanta trap-rap maniac 2 Chainz!

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