In some instances, it can be incredibly difficult to create a personality and shifting sound with an entirely instrumental album. Clams Casino has a distinct overarching calling card behind all of his production credits, but Moon Trip Radio shifts into something slightly different and shaded. It is not to say that the record does not have bright spots, but the material on Moon Trip Radio seems more built behind a séance rather than the jungle.
A sound and performance that often includes life from nature in his tracks, Clams Casino has constructed up the resumé of dreams working with A$AP Rocky, Lil B, Joji, FKA Twigs, and pretty much your favorite artist in the spotlight. Aside from his immaculate reach as an artist, Clams Casino incorporates these abstracted feelings that can coincide within both hope and dissonance. Seeing this opening track of “Rune” that is sculpted more on the principle of knocking percussion with these ambient builds and breakdowns to orchestrate an emotional takeover.
The tension in the record is almost non-existent as the entire piece relies more on the flow of water rather than the stacking of stone. Moon Trip Radio weaves in each track as if they were all interconnected and stemming to become one giant piece. The record plays best in one sitting where Clams Casino is more the mastermind behind the synths and pads without ever seeming to sweat.
He captures some of the early vivid dream sequences of “Fire Blue” that relate back to his own theme of pulsing ghosts and apparitions. As he takes the ethereal steps with “Fire Blue,” he bounces another tea garden track on the backend with “Twilit.” It is this therapeutic jump through sound that never relies too heavily on breaking new ground but instead on building upon foundation that was already there.
Moon Trip Radio is friendly, but never truly reveals its face in the full light. Instead, the record is lit under these candles and fireplaces that just barely reveal a figure at all. Clams Casino is able to articulate a growth through keys that tightly grips the listener’s attention without being aggressive. It is not so much a tense journey, but instead one so captivating that it is impossible to turn away from once it begins.
The journey and world that Clams Casino has built is far from being destroyed or even becoming archeological. He proves that the ground he stands on is still firm and solid with a 30-minute display over 11 tracks. Never does he falter, but instead holds clouded silhouettes as his beacons.