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Of Soft Construction

  Near the Parenthesis  


Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Brett Spaceman  

An interesting artist, Tim Arndt, also known as Near the Parenthesis. I was fortunate in discovering his album Go Out And See (released 2006 on the MMBP label), a record of luxuriant bass and sophisticated beats. For his follow-up, Arndt has switched to the n5MD label and this is a logical move for the San Francisco-based musician. The music of Near the Parenthesis is too reflective, too cerebral to be confined to the rank and file of downtempo. Of Soft Construction is relaxed and chilled, certainly, but it has facets that reach out beyond ambience.

Though outwardly tranquil, these compositions can be contrary and deceptive. Built upon cycles of repetition and gently, evolving layers, Of Soft Construction generates the sort of "calm" that actually suggests strength. The effect is like time-lapse photography for the ears.

My favourite piece has to be the sensational Trailing. By sensational I mean quite literally evoking sensations and feelings. This track twinkles like a night drive in a foreign city. Conjure Michael Mann's Miami or Sofia Coppola's Tokyo - wherever. It doesn't matter. In this context, the city is merely a reflection of the self. Our foreign city therefore represents the unexplored side of one's own persona. Lights and colours flash by. Our minds are intoxicated with possibilities and discoveries. All these new experiences serve to make sense of our own lives and purposes. If only my own were as elegant and beautiful as Of Soft Construction.

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