Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2012-02-14


Clams Casino: Instrumental Mixtape (free download, 2011) Reconstructed from tracks created for such real-life rappers as Lil B and Soulja Boy, New Jersey beatmaker Mike Volpe's comfortably disquieting illbient glitchbeat chillwave whatsis will grow on you if you give it a chance. And because it's designed to back into your space, providing the chance won't feel all that time-consuming, preoccupied as you'll be with something more engrossing while said time passes. The opening "Motivation" powers home enough hummed 'n' moaned gravitas to remind you it's there, and the closing "Cold War" caps the 40-minute album with a vocal sample that utters the title for once. In between you'll first pick up on "What You Doin'" and "Illest Alive," better known to you as the one in the middle and the one toward the end. Then slowly the rest will ooze into place via capillary action. A-

Skrillex: Bangarang (Owsla/Big Beat/Atlantic, 2012) "The most hated man in dubstep" therefore isn't "in" dubstep at all, which allowing for a few wannabes is fine by the rest of us who aren't in dubstep, meaning 99 percent if not 99.99 percent of music consumers. If you're too smart or knowledgeable for this young goof and his damn Grammys that Robyn wouldn't have won anyway, by all means enjoy your cool. I'm not. But I know this much. This is a pop record because its shamelessly hedonistic barrage of proven dancefloor tricks will obviously be more fun at home than in a club, where it would blare forth at quadruple volume to young jerks who'd get just as excited about LMFAO. A-

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