You wouldn’t think that growing up in the Swiss Alps in the 90′s would be the best place to be exposed to some of New York’s best underground hip hop. However anglo-swiss producer Laurent Clerc, AKA Little People, argues he couldn’t have been in a better place. Thanks to the forward thinking programming of Laurent’s local radio station and a DJ with his finger on the pulse of a golden age in the making in New York – Laurent’s musical education in all things hip hopwas of the highest order. An old Mac and a stack of old LPs were mere catalysts for Laurent to try and emulate the sounds from across the pond.A subsequent move to the UK introduced electronica to his broadening taste and influenced his own sound. Then followed work soundtrackingshort films and theater productions which added a cinematic element to his repertoire. Following a disheartening stint doing some production work for a Paris based hip hop label convinced Laurent that he should be doing things on his own terms. A self released EP led to being picked up by Illicit Recordings in London – through which “Mickey Mouse Operation” was eventually released. This was 2006 andhis debut album only made a very modest splash. Over the subsequent years, however, it turned into something of a sleeper ‘hit’ – gathering fervent support in the US and slowly climbing the US iTunes electronic chart in the process. Little people’s sound is part beats, bleeps and snippets of other people’s music. Stemming from hip hop, it effortlessly combines warm synths, intricate melodies and string arrangements. The cinematic quality of his sound led to his music being used on CSI and other shows in the US and UK.
Arms And Sleepers
The American electronic music duo MirzaRamic and Max Lewis have compiled animpressive discography of 26 releases in their1 1 y e a r h i s t o r y a sA R M S A N DSLEEPERS.They have collaborated withdozens of prominent artists (Tom Brosseau ofFat Cat Records, Serengeti of Anticon, PhilipJamieson of Caspian, and Victor Ferreira ofSun Glitters, among others) and worked onnumerous remixes (Caspian, Helios, Ef, FromIndian Lakes, and many others). Their musichas also been widely used in various TV,radio, and online media programming,including VICE and NPR.While Lewis lives in the US, Ramic is currentlybased in Europe, from where he has takenARMS AND SLEEPERS to stages acrossNorth & Central America, Europe and Asiamainly as a one-man show in recent years...the full live band lineup (trio) appears only on special occasions.ARMS AND SLEEPERSoriginated in the post-rock scene over a decade ago, and while they stilloccasionally perform at post-rock festivals like Dunk!, their music on recent releases has beentranscending 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 delayguitars 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 Sleepersplayed a show in Durbe, Latvia, officially the smallest city in theentire country with a population of about 500. I was there with my close friend Victor Ferreira (of SunGlitters, 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 ofArms and Sleepers.With about 100 people packed into a tiny space, as I was doing my usual end-of-show Q&A with theaudience, it dawned on me that after 11 years of actively being involved in the underground musicscene, this was my place. The music community that I’d been a part of had given me some of themost meaningful life experiences, memorable moments, and, most importantly, individuals that I nowconsider 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 ofindependent, underground culture. All of us there (yes, even the sleepy fellow in the image) seemedto 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 DIYparties 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.”