The word “hypnagogic” gets thrown around a lot in music, almost to the point where it’s lost its meaning -- for the record, it means “of or relating to the state immediately before falling asleep.”
It’s a wonderful feeling to experience, and one of the immense pleasures of being alive is you get to experience it daily. When people describe music as “hypnagogic,” they tend to be referring to it as something that seems ethereal (another overused music term), or to use some perhaps-harsh words, “pleasantly boring.”
However, Clams Casino’s music actually captures that very abstract term. His instrumentals, which have been rapped over by the New York neo-heavyweight A$AP Rocky, among many, many others perfectly capture that hypnagogic feeling. Download his latest mixtape here.
Take, for example, the otherworldly voices that punctuate “Leaf,” which has been rapped over by both Rocky and Soulja Boy to results that were nothing short of wonderful. They’re the type of yearning moans that should immediately register as “alarming,” but because of the icky haze that Clams coats them in, they come out comforting.
Or “Unchain Me,” which improbably wrings emotive pathos out of a Goo Goo dolls sample out of all things. All in all, it’s a remarkable piece of work, compounded by the fact that it’s free, and some of these songs were originally beats for Mac Miller.