Near The Parenthesis – Japanese For Beginners (2011 :: n5MD, MD184)

“Japanese for Beginners continues Arndt’s bias and skill in constructing haunting piano motifs and, as always, brings the pieces together seamlessly”


Near The Parenthesis is one of the most unique artists, in my opinion. “Japanese For Beginners” was released in 2011 via n5MD and it is one of the most serene electronic albums that tells a concrete story through sound. It’s on the listener to figure out the story conveyed by musical prodigy Near The Parenthesis (Tim Arndt)…


@n5MD describes the album perfectly:

“…Less than a year later, Arndt completed his next album “Japanese for Beginners”. Arndt was intent on creating something decidedly less organic, which includes what may be some of the most creative drum programming of his career. Building on this new platform, Japanese for Beginners continues Arndt’s bias and skill in constructing haunting piano motifs and, as always, brings the pieces together seamlessly.”




Title: Near The Parenthesis – Japanese For Beginners

Label/Cat#: n5MD – MD184
Country: US
Year: 15 Feb 2011
Genre: Electronic
Style: Modern Classical, IDM, Ambient
Format: CD, Digital

1. Soft Warmly Straw Raincoat (04:40)
2. Voice And Radio Bureau (04:37)
3. The Rose And Burial (04:56)
4. Your Subconscious Condition (04:58)
5. The First Surface (05:36)
6. In Regard To Water (05:10)
7. The Listening Surround (04:16)
8. Colors Live Remarkable (04:41)
9. Country Of True Wonder (04:27)

Total length: 43:21




n5MD label resident Near The Parenthesis (Tim Arndt) presents his fourth album on the label. In the process, the California prodigy more than defines his sound and perfects it on “Japanese For Beginners”.

Soft Warmly Straw Raincoat” begins with static-like sonic sound to catch the listener’s attention. Immediately, a serene piano melody emerges and beat patterns follow. Textures over textures. Beats over beats… Almost as a mixed album cross-fade, “Voice And Radio Bureau” begins with soft piano as expected from the California prodigy, and shortly, flashy and twinkly beats follow. “The Rose And Burial” continues the dreamy vibes set in the previous two tracks, and presents another heartfelt piano melody for the listener’s consideration. At around 3:45, complex beat patterns turn into beautiful piano melody as this unique aural journey continues. “Your Subconscious Condition” opens with hazy sounds, only to drift back to Near The Parenthesis’ essential sounds: harmonious melodies that allow the listener to relax and focus. “The First Surface” begins the latter half of the album with ambitious chords. Around the midpoint of the track, a delicate melody gently transitions back into the main piano melody presented in front of us. In “In Regard To Water,” the story continues with slower emotional piano notes, really exposing the listener to  a true emotional experiment in sound. In the latter half of the track, the emotional piano chords grow a bit louder and Arndt’s gorgeous beat patterns grace us once again. “The Listening Surround” takes a step back and allows the listener to experience emotional atmospheric melody with abstract beats and subtle crescendos. “Colors Live Remarkable” begins by exploring Arndt’s softer melodic side, and teases melodies presented earlier in the album. “Colors Live Remarkable” is a truly uplifting and inspiring piece that begins to conclude this wonderful journey. “Country Of True Wonder” delves deep into Arndt’s creative mind, and provides us with a short retrospect of the aural journey that we’ve just witnessed, mixing parts of patterns and piano pieces for an ever so subtle, but delicate ending to this masterpiece: “Japanese For Beginners”.

Stream the album on your service of choice or consider supporting n5MD & Near The Parenthesis as they both deserve your support.


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Near The Parenthesis:

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