"The Organ Hearts" (Album, 2011)
This third album from Max Lewis and Mirza Ramic, aka Arms and Sleepers, comes by way of German electronica label Expect Candy. The band’s first two albums Black Paris 86, released four years ago, and Matador in 2009 were also on Expect Candy – worth pointing out as having sampled this some may wish to delve into the recent past for more. I may have set out the chronology but this is the first time I’ve heard Arms and Sleepers so am quite curious myself to give those earlier two a listen. Particularly Matador as apparently here they’ve utilised more electronics and percussion to produce their downtempo sound than the guitars, glockenspiels and melodicas that featured on the last album.
It sounds a tad unlikely coming from me, but on the strength of having only heard The Organ Hearts I'm guessing I might enjoy Matador more. That’s because this album works better when functioning as the score to a cold war thriller from the 1970s than as a contemporary soft, shuffling percussion backed, dreamlike electronica. That side of things is fine if a bit lacklustre. Fans of Ulrich Schnauss will hear a lot of similarities in the superficial soundscape but the often instrumental song writing lacks sufficient skills and progression to be as memorable as Schanuss. 6/10
Rob Dyer (October 2011)