Posted on Oct 1st 2008 12:36 am

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Near The Parenthesis: L'eixample

n5MD 2008
09 Tracks. 53mins02secs

For his third album, San Francisco-based electronic musician Tim Amdt, who has been officiating under the strange pseudonym of Near The Parenthesis for a few years now, sought inspiration during a trip to Barcelona, and more particularly to the nineteenth century district of L’Eixample, renowned for its modernist architecture, including some of Gaudi’s best known buildings.

Having spent years in various formations through the years, Amdt finally established himself as a solo artist toward the beginning of the decade. His first album, Go Out And See, was published in 2006 on Canadian imprint Music Made By People, and was followed by an EP on Duotone that same year. Signed to n5MD shortly after, the second NTP album, Of Soft Construction, was released in 2007.

With L’Eixample, Amdt returns to the gentle atmospheric postcards that defined his previous outputs and expands on the already rich soundscapes and textures that served them. The nine tracks collected here seamlessly morph into one another and melodies effortlessly float above the minute formations that act as main backbone for each individual piece. Sounding like representations of crisp, cold and foggy winter mornings, where familiar settings are swallowed in a dense veil and become haunting shapes, Amdt’s compositions move slowly, revealing various facets of their individual scope with each new exposure. But, behind the dense textural curtain which covers the whole album, lush instrumentations and sequences can be heard. Distant voices, softened pianos or rounded electric guitars create unique spaces within the music and, while contributing greatly to the overall mood, also manage to radiate altogether much more vivid tones. On Cedra’s Plan for instance, the main piano melody which emerges from the shifting waters of the first half of the piece gives a much earthier feel to the latter part. SMDM is instantly more clearly defined, but yet again, it is the piano that contrasts with its resolutely vaporous backdrop. On Empty Square, piano and processed guitars create a mood reminiscent of the collaboration between former Cocteau Twins guitarist Robin Guthrie and ambient composer Harold Budd, but then the track takes a turn for the barer and more desolate until just a distant voice remains, and on opening piece Modernisme, ethereal voices contribute to the overall haunting feel of the composition.

Tim Amdt has created with his third album an exquisite atmospheric soundtrack. The refined soundscapes and moods serve his melodies beautifully, and contribute to create an extremely consistent and cinematic collection.


Near The Parenthesis | n5MD
Buy: CD | iTunes

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One Response to “NEAR THE PARENTHESIS: L’Eixample (n5MD)”

  1. John Dilibertoon 01 Oct 2008 at 6:05 pm

    We’ve been loving the new NTP album at Echoes. We did a cool interview with Tim that I think you can download as a podcast from iTunes and there was also an on-air feature with blog, that’s somewhere on our website.