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(18:50, Charles Wiley)
US writer, composer and musician Charles WILEY was an unknown entity for me until I received this EP a few months back, and why he isn't listed in the database of a website like Progarchives beats me. That his creation Corn Man is a serialized novella as well as musical creations may be part of the answer I guess, alongside the fact that there is just so much music released these days. As a composer and musician, Wiley appears to favor a rather eclectic approach, combining elements contrasting in pace and intensity, as well as using instruments to create natural contrasts and harmony, depending on how they are used. Cue the roles of the violin, the saxophone, the piano and the organ on this EP, all of which are sued to create contrasts as well as harmonies. The Mexican style brass blasts on the final track here may well come with a political agenda as well, as corn is the subject matter and the artists is from the US. As this is also a written series, to my mind it would be logical that this specific effect was in place for a reason - to put it that way. Often up tempo and lively, but with slower passages and brooding effects as well, everything isn't what it appears to be on this EP. The clever use of an alarm-like theme that appears throughout is a clever manner in which to build an identity as well as to subtly offset a jubilant mood ever so slightly as well. And perhaps also the key feature that stays put in memory after listening through this EP. From the little I have read about the written works of the Corn Man project, that is an effect very much planned: Corn, and alarm. Needless to say, this is an EP well worth giving a spin at some point, to be filed under accessible, but also innovative and eclectic instrumental progressive rock.
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