Near the Parenthesis- Japanese for Beginners

Japanese for Beginners

Every once in a while  I will cruise the Amazon mp3 download store to get new ideas for blog entries or just to find new music to listen to.  Fortuitously, I stumbled upon a free download from  “Near the Parenthesis.” “Near the Parenthesis” is actually San Francisco-based musician Tim Arndt. The free download was for a track named “soft warmly straw raincoat” and it is just beautiful!  I really enjoyed the light beat that flows with a gorgeous piano performance.  The intro seemed to be some electronic noise and sounded as if someone were trying to tune in to a radio station and then the main portion of the song kicks in.

Arndt puts together some beautiful ambient soundscapes all featuring his piano playing along with all sorts of wonderful electronic sounds.  I also really enjoyed “The First Surface” which uses a lot of off beats to intertwine with the step-like melody.  It’s just a nice flowing piece that builds and builds until it reaches a seemingly out of breath ending and gently fades away.  “In Regard to Water” was a more intense bigger sounding track in which again the piano part carried the melody.  Just stunning.

I cannot reiterate enough what beautiful music Arndt has put together for this album.  Each song is so delicate, it seems if it were missing one voice the entire thing would not work.

His latest album is an aptly titled “The Near Pairing Thesis” and was released in June on n5MD Records. It seemed a bit more calm and laid back than Japanese for Beginners but was a great one to chill out to as well.  Go get it!

Keep chilin’


Ketsa- Ketsonica

I’ve been traveling a lot for my “real” job lately and on the plane I usually either read or listen to music. For a recent trip, I wasn’t sure what to listen to but then an artist named “Ketsa” followed us on Twitter and we reciprocated.  I then saw a tweet about a download available on his bandcamp site.  So, I downloaded “Ketsonica,” without knowing what to expect.  Ketsa is London-based musician and producer Dominic Giam.  You can read his bio here.

What I first noticed (and thoroughly enjoyed) about “Ketsonica” was Ketsa’s great work on the piano and how he implemented that voice with the other elements of the music. He puts together a lot of interesting sounds to make each track a beautiful multi-layered piece of art.

For example, the closing track “Brahhh” starts off with some dreamy piano but towards the end morphs into a heavy hitting bass extravaganza with tons of other glitchy sounds surrounding around it. “Resonance” was also a very beautiful track. It has a light hypnotic melody and the drum track is just awesome to listen to. With so many beats and backbeats, it is like candy for your ears! Another good example of his great ability to morph the piano parts with other sounds is “Project the Positive.”  The melody begins twisting and turning and then the other elements of the music emerge.  You then find yourself surrounded with some great synth and some deep bass hits.  Similar to his other works, it is all put together into one great cohesive package.

My favorite track on “Ketsonica” was “Memory Capture.” I loved the off-beat snare hits and winding melody which really drives the track.  The drum work definitely reminded me of our friends Arms and Sleepers with all of those off-beat snare hits.  The bells/chimes along with the use of horns (I think I heard an oboe?) reminded me of Bonobo‘s work.  Any musician who can be compared to those two artists is a winner in my book!

Ketsa’s most recent release is called “Flight of the Dragonfly” and just released on September 17th. Check it out!

Keep Chillin’