32 Levels

Clams Casino - 32 Levels
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2016 Ratings: #568 / 947
User Score
Based on 132 ratings
2016 Ratings: #438
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The Line of Best Fit

32 Levels sees Clams Casino step up a level and make a hugely positive and lasting impression.

A.V. Club

After staking out his peculiarly haunted corner of hip-hop and electronic music with his Rainforest EP and a trilogy of acclaimed Instrumentals self-releases, those allies now come to repay the favor on 32 Levels, an album that aims to officially enshrine Clams Casino as one of the most iconoclastic producers in the business, even among those who didn’t “get” it the first time.


Not every gamble pays off ... but this is a frequently dazzling piece of work from one of hip-hop’s most ambitious and imaginative stylists.


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.


32 Levels is the album that Clams Casino’s production up to this point has been promising, and he made good on it.


What Clams Casino specialises in and what makes this record a success is his ability to seemingly carve beats from ice, so cold is the production.

Consequence of Sound

Clams doesn’t need this record to prove that he should be a household name; his back catalog already does that. Instead, it reinforces his talents with hints at how his influence might spread next.

Loud and Quiet

Michael Volpe has actually created a solid collection that, significantly, sounds like an album, cleverly straddling pop and hip-hop while weaving a coherent thread.


For a major-label debut, 32 Levels is a cogent, careful snapshot of Clams Casino in his element (hazy college parties, very loud warehouse spaces); there aren’t even any naked pop plays.


It’s further evidence of Clams’ special talents but for those who have followed his career closely, it’s hard not to think about what could have been.

The Needle Drop
Famed cloud rap producer Clams Casino returns with a star-studded commercial debut.

Versatility, it turns out, may not be Clams’ strong suit, though that’s hardly a problem; as the first half of 32 Levels demonstrates, there’s still plenty of room left for Clams Casino to grow into his own sound.


Putting together a strong full-length statement as a producer is difficult, to be sure: Do you work with guests, which add to the dynamism of a record, but can also upset the sense of cohesion? Do you stick to your tried-and-true timbre and risk stagnating, or switch it up and risk eschewing your sonic trademark? 32 Levels suggests Clams didn't have a clear answer to either question.

The Guardian

More a showcase of his production wares than an album, this collection still suggests Clams might produce a pearl yet.

Tiny Mix Tapes

When the tried-and-trusted cloud rap formula is utilized, it still hits all the right spots. 32 Levels is a line in the sand, rather than a high watermark, for Clams Casino and the genre as a whole; a fertile growth outward, rather than a zeitgeist-recapturing album.

Pretty Much Amazing

The genre-spanning approach dilutes what could have been a memorable project, leaving 32 Levels with a storage of untapped potential and only a few beacons shining their fullest light.

Resident Advisor
Ironically for a producer who made his name by sounding so different from mainstream hip-hop, Volpe falls victim to the same fate that swallows many major-label rap debuts: his brilliant personality is drowned out by radio-safe production and ill-advised guest appearances.
Under The Radar
The issue with Clams is that his team-ups with MC's and singers have often been light on intrigue. An album of instrumentals from a producer with a distinctive creative style, like this one, need not be cluttered with guest vocal appearances.
Every time I put on the next song, I thought "Okay, it's gonna pick up, I know it..." and it never did. Every feature had potential to be great, and every feature came off as mediocre. Even the production wasn't as good as Clams has been on past hip hop records he contributed to. Might grow on me, but i was pretty disappointed by this.
Dope collaborations on this record.
For clams casino this could be better. There are some good songs like blast and All Nite. But still its pretty basic especially for him.

Come on mane...
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Track List

  1. Level 1 
  2. Be Somebody [ft. A$AP Rocky and Lil B] 
  3. All Nite [ft. Vince Staples] 
  4. Witness [ft. Lil B] 
  5. Skull 
  6. 32 Levels [ft. Lil B and Joe Newman of alt-J] 
  7. Thanks to You [ft. Sam Dew] 
  8. Back to You [ft. Kelly Zutrau of Wet] 
  9. Into the Fire [ft. Mikky Ekko] 
  10. A Breath Away [ft. Kelela] 
  11. Ghost in a Kiss [ft. Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands] 
  12. Blast

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Added on: May 19, 2016