Review: The Otherworldly Self-Reflective Meditation Of Arms And Sleepers ‘MEMORY LOOPS’

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Arms and Sleepers | Memory Loops | {int}erpret null

Release Date: 31 July, 2020

Throughout their over-a-decade long musical career, American electronic duo Arms and Sleepers, made up of Mirza Ramic and Max Lewis, have morphed over the years as captivating aural shapeshifters; artists ever evolving, with a willingness to explore multiple facets of genres within the electronic music realm.

Known for their traverse amongst stretches of electronic territories: from trip-hop cuts gleaming with a loving minimalism – that still manage to showcase the intricacies of their signature production techniques – to lush atmospheric blends of introspective ambience, influences of multiple genres shining through in carefully woven, conceptual sound design one can get lost in. Arms and Sleepers present listeners with new ideas, themes and experiences with each release, and in their latest album – the third installment as a part of a six part series, we are presented with ‘MEMORY LOOPS’. 

Running at 65 minutes with track names that purposefully do not provide context, the duo return to their cinematic post-classical and ambient roots, with the album shaped more so as a reflective, meditative experience.

 

We’ve always been drawn to post-classical and ambient genres and never stopped writing music that resembles our earlier beat-less releases. It took a while to actually complete a new album in this style of music, but it feels like a natural continuation of what we’ve always been and liked doing.

Mirza Ramic

‘MEMORY LOOPS’ is more so focused on a journey of self-reflection, an album that provides one with moments of calm in order to process their thoughts and experiences as opposed to distract from them. In a time where it’s safe to say that many of us are feeling more overwhelmed than perhaps we ever have, the therapeutic approach to ‘MEMORY LOOPS’ is a welcomed surprise.

Due to the nature of this album in particular and the concept behind it, singling out specific tracks and speaking of them separately wouldn’t be accurate or appropriate in this context. 

Speaking of the album as a whole, the listening experience feels as though one is moving quietly, perhaps even cautiously, through a lucid dream; a process in which, within the atmosphere of each track, we are able to take a thorough look at our surroundings through the cinematic realm the duo have created.

An aura of transcendental meditation runs throughout the album and it’s evidently clear that Arms and Sleepers have accomplished their goal with ‘MEMORY LOOPS’. Suddenly, just as one would notice and comment on the use of instruments and delicate textures used to sculpt the highly atmospheric tracks, one begins to notice the intricacies of their own thoughts. It’s an ethereal experience to close one’s eyes to, and get lost in – with starry, fluttering keys peppering the lush ebb and flow of kind, reverb drenched synths; the use of natural samples, such as waves caressing the shore and birds chirping happily far off in the distance – even the familiar static of an old radio, as it mumbles from another room.

The focus Arms and Sleepers have placed on the deeply atmospheric nature of each track is fitting of a score yet without context, as the shifts between tones – whether it be melancholia, nostalgia, a sense of warmth or kindness – crafts an open-ended narrative, which is more than likely to affect each listener in a different, and deeply personal manner.

Stream & Purchase MEMORY LOOPS by Arms and Sleepers
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Rating: 8 / 10

Feature Image: Arms and Sleepers / Press via Facebook

Review by Jenna Dreisenstock

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