Arms and Sleepers
Nostalgia For The Absolute


3.5
great

Review

by Deviant STAFF
March 11th, 2011 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Providing the perfect soundtrack for the changing seasons, Arms and Sleepers craft an exquisite and delightful EP that says so much without actually saying anything at all

It's been two years since Arms and Sleepers' Matador lazily crept across our subconscious with its laconic daydream philosophies and sunlight-tinged ambiance. Two years spent honing their craft, bolstering their trip hop tendencies and post rock-like buildups with seasonal tinges of minimal melancholy and emotively tender excursions through earthy piano tones and delicate winter-like romanticism. Nostalgia For The Absolute represents the first release under this new guise of Arms And Sleepers, the first of several planned EPs that will ultimately culminate in their third official full length to be released in the coming months. And while the duo (sometimes trio) have always been adept at crafting pieces of incredible intimacy, here they are a little more immediate at the task. No longer hiding behind glitchy beats and standard trip hop percussion, this new ghost-like disappearance of a beat has allowed a new breathless and swirling nature to take hold in their music. There's an almost unspoken excitement to be found in this new sound, a kind of hopeful yearning hidden in the wordless darkness. Like a silent anticipation waiting to explode, but quickly snuffed out before the inevitable release.

Which of course, has something to do with the run time of each song. Strictly an EP, each track ranges only between a minute and a half up to roughly three minutes. As a result, the EP seemingly races through various motifs and identities, constantly shrouded in mystery yet still effortlessly changing before our eyes. Whereas opener 'Crash' slowly works its charms through yearning and haunting piano notes, 'Lisbon' stumbles along under the click-clack of an idm beat caught in mid-step. Or how 'Nova' bites with its cinematic flourishes and orchestra-like live tension, and 'Lovers Arctic' finds its anchor of somber keys attacked by the knife like sharpness of trembling violin interruptions. There's a sense of wonderment to be had within the short run time, like the glimpse through a window to a world changing before your eyes, everything happening in a sped up fashion akin to that notion of a world passing you by. Every song (or should that be thought) plays out like time lapse photography, like 'Clayton' and its frantic acoustic guitar finger picking providing the non-visual idea of a nature in its inevitable seasonal destructive mode.

Nostalgia For The Absolute is music for a transformation; be it the change from water to ice, or to watch a sand castle disappear in the blink of an eye, it's the sound of a landscape in motion. Wordless yet still breathless, the EP is an observer of a world within reach yet still so shrouded in mystery and not-so-subtle delight. And while these tracks may only be a teaser, with their full run time still to be revealed, the sharpness with which they arrive and for the brief period of time they remain, they do the almost unthinkable task of somehow evoking an incredible sense of isolation while seemingly providing a certain kind of warmth and comfort with them; an almost intoxicating kind of catharsis in a way, at peace with its loneliness and disparity. Beach music for the dead of night.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


31161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Samples and purchasing:

http://wearearmsandsleepers.bandcamp.com/album/nostalgia-for-the-absolute

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Ponton
Emeritus
March 11th 2011


5793 Comments


you're easily one of my fav contribs, great stuff

just a question though, would you cap "idm"? not positive myself

Tyrael
March 11th 2011


20876 Comments


Good review.

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


31161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eh, you can do. I've seen it done both, same for edm and ebm

Appreciated Jared

Ponton
Emeritus
March 11th 2011


5793 Comments


so if i wanted music in this vein, but the best that it has to offer, where should i look? I enjoy a lot of American Dollar but figured you'd have a few recs

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


31161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well this one is a lot more ambient than their other stuff, which as I mentioned is more trip hop based, so I can give you some recs for that. But if you want more American Dollar stuff, try Epic45 - Steps To Further Winter, The Abbasi Brothers - Something Like Nostalgia, Blueneck - Scars Of The Midwest, and the Boy Is Fiction rec up top

pizzamachine
March 11th 2011


12571 Comments


Wait a second, you did a review that isn't insanely long? Pos.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


31161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awww =[

pizzamachine
March 11th 2011


12571 Comments


By which I mean excellent review Dev! The opening sentence is epic btw.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


15980 Comments


i see how it is jared.

also, amazing review Deviant. You are one of my favorite contributors.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Ire
March 11th 2011


41779 Comments


nice review dev


you are one of my favorite deviants.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 11th 2011


31161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I am basking in the love

Calculate
March 15th 2011


1135 Comments


and misspelling

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2011


31161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

???

minty901
January 1st 2013


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love this EP. only thing i own by this band. great ambience. i have a feeling i wont like their other stuff as much if its more trip-hop. which album is closest to this that can be recommended?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 1st 2013


31161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Their albums don't really reflect the sound they have on this EP, they're more beat driven than anything. Atmospheric and chilled out still, but more emphasis on percussion than anything you'll find here. Black Paris '86 and The Organ Hearts are their best LPs though, and definitely worth a spin or two

minty901
January 6th 2013


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cool thanks dev. will check them out.

minty901
April 1st 2013


2002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is so excellent. could end up being my favourite ambient release.



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