Today I get to talk about something completely different. Most of the ruminations I have here at It Djents are about some of the louder, noiser, and metallic outings. But today, I get to talk about one of the more notable acts in the Trip-Hop/IDM scene: Arms And Sleepers. Their electronic beats and groove-heavy tunes are a nice break from some of the bleaker material that I am attracted to, and I’m excited to talk through some of the highlights of their latest effort. Find The Right Place drops on April 27th through Pelagic Records, and with eleven new tracks they are poised to make another splash in their scene and beyond.
When the first notes of Find The Right Place begin, it’s the sparkling carbonation that I had hoped it would be. Bright and cheery, but also more than just a funky dance beat. After a quick existential monologue, the first full song (and first single) “It Was Us” slides right into a comforting groove. Chilled and reverberating vocals lay nicely on top of the instrumentation, with plenty of electronics supporting the overall mood. This is a great first taste of their new record, and is indicative of the identity of the album as a whole. Little wrinkles dot the compositional landscape, mixing up the elements and earning AAS the right to be called intelligent dance music.
Purer dance grooves follow the opener with plenty of global influences being felt in tracks like “Be This Way”, “Down”, and “I’m Not Sour, You’re A Bitch”, adding some nice textures all while keeping the sparkling demeanor of the album intact. While all of these are notable and distinct, there would occasionally be times when one track would flow to another and I’d hardly notice. Whether there is a negative or positive aspect I’ll leave to you, for me it was fairly valued at neutral. This music is all about mood and feeling the groove, and that is something that I never did without.
Amber Ryann shows up on “Woke To Death” with plenty of attitude bleeding through. Lyrically it’s nothing we haven’t heard before, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t catchy and fun. The beats are punchy and the vibe is fun, what’s not to like? On the following track, “How You Are Different (And I’m The Same),” we get our first real taste of synth string leads adding in some not-quite-melodies that act as thread weaving through the song. This is also where the bass is pushed to the front of the mix in a notable way. It thumps hard.
There is genuinely something unique about each track on this album. At the risk of this review becoming verbose, I’ll just do a quick dive into one more track: “Dead Dogs Don’t Bite” which features Infidelix. With a more true to form hiphop beat and a nice acoustic guitar loop establishing the rhythm, this one feels more familiar than most of what is to be found elsewhere on the record. It’s a fantastic song that plays with the atmosphere slightly here and there, and in many ways feels like a throwback. In the final third of the song, electronic experimentation rises to the top, and the trademark Arms And Sleepers vibe is made known.
Find The Right Place is a fine record. There is plenty of diversity from track to track, all of which connect through the mood of the album as a whole. There’s really not a weak song to be found, even though some stood out more than others. If you’re looking for a vibrant set of songs that create a fizzy and fun atmosphere, look no further.
Notable Tracks: “It Was Us”; “Woke To Death”; “Dead Dogs Don’t Bite”
FFO: Lymbyc Systm, Trifonic, Bersarin Quartett