In 1978 Brian Eno set out to create an entirely new genre of electronic music centered around discreet minimalism and ubiquitous sounds that were to be played strictly as background music in airports and other places of mass transit in order to subconsciously calm people as they rushed from one location to another. In many ways his Music for Airports projects failed because they have been taken from being piped into airports to being ravenously devoured and dissected by electronic music fans. Like Music for Airports I feel like brooding, moody electronic-pop comprised of electronic programming with melancholy live instrumentation is made for a distinct time and place: rainy mornings in coastal towns. Coming from the respective towns of Portland, ME and Boston, MA, the duo of Arms and Sleepers have encapsulated the contemplative ennui that descends on the East Coast. Combining virtuoso electronic programming, buzzing synths, chopped up organic beats with the occasional live percussion, xylophones, soaring post-rock guitars and a virtual slew of geographically dislocated contributers, Matador weaves a tight knit sweater of aural warmness around a chilly coffee shop morning. Shelley Short (of the other Portland), Tom BrosseauUzi and Ari (of SLC and Europe fame), notably on “The Architekt” with features the cooing vocals of Uzi and Ari members Catherine Worsham and Ben Shepherd. Arms and Sleeper’s textured slices of coastal living nostalgia and ephemeral dreaminess recall a very specific geographical location out of the constructs of sound and atmospherics. An absolutely beautiful album. I have only spent a week in Portland, ME but Matador comes close to physically recreating the dreaminess of that Northeastern sea side hamlet. Or metropolis. However you want to look at it.

Ryan H.

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