The American electronic music duo Mirza Ramic and Max Lewis have compiled an impressive discography of 26 releases in their 11 year history as ARMS AND SLEEPERS. They have collaborated with dozens of prominent artists (Tom Brosseau of Fat Cat Records, Serengeti of Anticon, Philip Jamieson of Caspian, and Victor Ferreira of Sun Glitters, among others) and worked on numerous remixes (Caspian, Helios, Ef, From Indian Lakes, and many others). Their music has also been widely used in various TV, radio, and online media programming, including VICE and NPR.
While Lewis lives in the US, Ramic is currently based in Europe, from where he has taken ARMS AND SLEEPERS to stages across North & Central America, Europe and Asia mainly as a one-man show in recent years… the full live band lineup (trio) appears only on special occasions.
ARMS AND SLEEPERS originated in the post-rock scene over a decade ago, and while they still occasionally perform at post-rock festivals like Dunk!, their music on recent releases has been transcending the narrow confines of that scene, oscillating more between “chilled hip-hop beats, glitching electronics and ambient progressions” (The Huffington Post) than the typical wailing delay guitars and drum crescendos. They have always been an act difficult to categorize.
…comments Mirza Ramic about FIND THE RIGHT PLACE:
“In August 2017, Arms and Sleepers played a show in Durbe, Latvia, officially the smallest city in the entire country with a population of about 500. I was there with my close friend Victor Ferreira (of Sun Glitters, who also co-produced our last album), and the show was organized by another good friend, a promoter who I’ve known since 2011 and who’s even performed live as part of Arms and Sleepers. With about 100 people packed into a tiny space, as I was doing my usual end-of-show Q&A with the audience, it dawned on me that after 11 years of actively being involved in the underground music scene, this was my place.
The music community that I’d been a part of had given me some of the most meaningful life experiences, memorable moments, and, most importantly, individuals that I now consider some of my closest friends. It was then fitting that we would use an image from that night as the album cover. Taken by Victor during my live performance, it’s a small peak into the world of independent, underground culture. All of us there (yes, even the sleepy fellow in the image) seemed to have found the right place.
On one of the LP and CD artwork panels for our new album FIND THE RIGHT PLACE is a quote by the late Czech intellectual, politician, and artist Vaclav Havel. Knowing that his life was coming to an end, he spoke of leaving a mark on the world no matter how seemingly small and insignificant. For me, finding the right place in our lives is the only way to leave a mark on the world. We have to be comfortable with who we are and understand what our place in the world is in order to have a sense of finality and achievement when our limited time on earth draws to a close. Despite all the continual obstacles that an obscure, underground artist faces, after 11 years of doing Arms and Sleepers I have come to appreciate our place in the music world and all those around us that continue to engage with our work.
As Havel writes, “All my life I have simply believed that what is once done can never be undone and that, in fact, everything remains forever. In short, Being has a memory.” Our collective memory—in small town venues in Latvia, unmarked industrial spaces in Hong Kong, or DIY parties in abandoned buildings in Guatemala—is something that we cherish with deep gratitude. FIND THE RIGHT PLACE has many themes flowing throughout it, but the most important one is that of the underground spirit which fuels our independent culture and thinking.”