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’23 Album Roundup: George Clanton’s “Ooh Rap I Ya”

George Clanton, through the course of two albums: 100% Electronica in 2015 and Slide in 2018 won the hearts of at least the internet electronic scene. It makes some sense—anywhere his music is described, genres like “chillwave” and “vaporwave,” decidedly “online” categories, are assigned to him. But those descriptions don’t really get to the heart of the issue, and Clanton’s music doesn’t fit into those boxes quite so neatly. Instead, the signature sound he found is a midpoint between retro power pop, electronica and funk, a weird mix that makes his work stand out all that much more. Here’s everything you need to know about George Clanton and his latest, Ooh Rap I Ya.

George Clanton Produces Two Unassailable Singles With Ooh Rap I Ya

The two tracks that easily stand above the rest here are “Justify Your Life” and “I Been Young,” each ruminations on high-concept topics like nostalgia and purpose. Each also showcases the somewhat backward-facing angle that the album takes aesthetically, as Clanton’s vocals continue to evoke comparisons to ’90s and ’80s outfits—from Tears For Fears all the way up to Seal. Regardless of your take on using past eras as a starting point, you can’t argue with the execution. The lo-fi and sometimes fully washed-out vocal style, laid out over luxurious synth and electronic production is a fantastic recipe generally, but Clanton executes it the best on these two songs.

Taken from @georgeclanton on Instagram.

Quality Throughout The Producer’s Third Album

Much like the album the producer opted for, Ooh Rap I Ya ventures into some truly psychedelic territory on its B-sides as well. The title track might be the best example, his lead vocals absolutely drowning in VFX and at points almost indiscernible from the slew of instrumental lines around him. All of those are working in concert to create something of a sun-bleached, Portishead trip-hop atmosphere, and though it may take a couple listens for it to sink in fully, it’s a captivating world that he sets up towards the project’s close.

Despite all the quality found elsewhere, the movement-like “Vapor King / Sub-Real” which combines the first two singles released from the project might be its central point. Plodding and near-anguished in its early moments, as it drives towards the second half, the track explodes with color, slowly easing into a breakbeat refrain as it fades out.

Idiosyncratic as it may be, Ooh Rap I Ya and the work of George Clanton generally are more than deserving of your time if you’re a fan of anything electronic music. You can find the album now on all streaming platforms, and if you’d like to support directly, it’s available for purchase on his Bandcamp page.

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