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    Arms and Sleepers – "What Tomorrow Brings"

    Musically Precise Memories and Future Perspectives

    Preview von Anne
    05.01.2024 — Lesezeit: 3 min
    Deutsche Version lesen
    Arms and Sleepers – "What Tomorrow Brings"
    Bild/Picture: © Arms and Sleepers

    What Tomorrow Brings"—Arms and Sleepers is back with the omnipresent question about the uncertainty of the future. He is about to deliver a sensational album right after the beginning of this new year. It will officially be released on March 1st, but I've already listened to it and listed its highlights for you—bringing you a first taste in the form of two pre-released songs.

    "What Tomorrow Brings" comprises 17 short tracks that captivate you from the first minute and don't let go until the end. Formerly a duo with Max Lewis that formed in Boston, Mirza Ramic now works solo from Berlin and signed—surprise!—with Pelagic Records.

    A tragic background story

    Arms and Sleepers aka Mirza Ramic
    Arms and Sleepers aka Mirza Ramic

    With his new record, the artist and producer deals with his escape from the war in Bosnia in the early 1990s, the tragic death of his father in this conflict and how the war in Ukraine reflects his memories of that time in a terrible way. However, the uncertain view of the times to come that has arisen from these thoughts does not cast a veil over the new songs. On the contrary, they are open, fresh, and poignant.

    Some time after the formation of Arms and Sleepers in 2006 followed a short break and reorientation in 2012. Since then, the project has released music regularly. The new long player can be described as the peak of this era (so far!). It has everything—from horns to vocals and digital to analogue instruments—including grandiose allusions to the golden age of trip-hop.

    The impressive Arms and Sleepers discography now encloses 20 EPs and (with this record) 14 LPs. Anyone who has already come into contact with ambient, post-music and trip-hop is familiar with the project. Mirza definitely lives up to the big name with the new album. You can look forward to experimental, soulful, and relaxed contemporary music!

    An album in four phases

    You can hear the sound artist's observational perspective on our unhinged world on "What Tomorrow Brings". For him, the LP is a report divided into four musical sections—starting with the loss of his home. Kenneth Branagh's coming-of-age drama "Belfast" also inspired him when writing the 17 pieces. He told Pelagic Records:

    "As the fighting broke out in Ukraine, I thought about my experiences growing up and how I became the person I am today."

    The titles "Innocence", "Melancholy", "Rupture", and "Reflection" mark the four sections of the concept album. They illustrate Mirza's experiences, his losses, his emotional world and the shaping of his identity.

    Our longing for decades of the past and future

    Arms and Sleepers – "What Tomorrow Brings"
    Arms and Sleepers – "What Tomorrow Brings"

    Fans of projects like Caspian, Mogwai, Morcheeba, DJ Krush, Portishead, Nightmares on Wax, and Moloko are sure to enjoy this incredible work of art, which holds up a mirror to our times in a transparent yet playful way. The clear accents in the direction of jazz and post-rock emphasise the longing we all yearn for club nights in times of harmony—in decades long past and in those yet to come.

    Arms and Sleepers created his musical painting with impressive precision. The relaxed ambient sound, with its drum breaks and surprising moments, is a constant source of pleasant surprises. If you want to let yourself be carried away by the music, you will always get a friendly, thought-provoking impulse between the bars.

    My favourite track so far— because of this reason, too—is "It's Easy". Mirza tells a very personal story with this song. Here are his words about it:

    "I wrote 'It's Easy' with my father in mind, who was killed in the war in Bosnia in 1993. I was thinking about how 'easy' it could have been for there not to be a war and for people, including my dad, not to be killed senselessly."

    As tragic as his story is, Mirza tries not to let it dampen his optimism.

    "In some ways, it could be very "easy" to avoid war, and so I wrote this song from the perspective of an innocent, somewhat naïve child for whom things like war and violence make absolutely no sense whatsoever."

    If you gift yourself the time to listen to "It's Easy" and later the entire album, you'll remember Mirza's words and probably ask yourself the question as I did: Don't we all have a part of this child inside of us?

    Arms and Sleepers – "It's Easy"

    The musician told Pelagic about the second pre-coupling, which I'm including here:

    "'Blood Song' was actually one of the first song ideas I had for the new record, dating back to summer 2021 when I was working on my previous album, 'Former Kingdoms'. I left it as a demo to use later on, and its slightly more upbeat and aggressive vibe worked perfectly for Side C of the new album, which is more explosive than the rest of the record.

    The piece was much more subdued before I asked Andreas Schütz (aka Pierre Navarron of il:lo, who is also responsible for mixing the new album) to collaborate on this track. He provided a much-needed breath of fresh air into the song with improved drum programming and synth layering. Like the rest of the album's Side C tracks, 'Blood Song' deals with the negative and traumatic aspects of my life's journey, a sort of a breaking point in my emotions."

    Click here to read my interview about the new Arms and Sleepers Album, "What Tomorrow Brings" in its entirety!

    Arms and Sleepers – "Blood Song"

    © 2024 · · Anne Reis