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(62:51, Cuneiform Records)
Far Corner is a band I haven’t previously come across, although apparently this is their third studio album (albeit the first one in a few years). But when I started looking at the line-up, I realised that I have come across a couple of those involved prior to this. The rhythm section is made up of bassist William Kopecky and drummer Craig Walkner, who were also two thirds of Yeti Rain, whose album ‘Stars Fall Darkly’ I raved about some years back. However, I have been aware of William for more than 20 years and loved the band he formed with his brothers in the Nineties, Kopecky. As ever, he provides a bass sound which takes Chris Squire as an influence, and then becomes even deeper and distorted. There are sections on the album when it is just him and Craig, who wouldn’t know a standard 4/4 pattern even if it tried to introduce itself nicely, yet one doesn’t miss the other instruments when they are acting as a duo. The others? Yes, this is a quartet, with Dan Maske on keyboards and Angela Schmidt on cello (Jerry Loughney guests on violin on a few songs). It is hard to really describe what the band are attempting to achieve, but imagine late Sixties progressive (in its truest sense) music combining with classical, add in some RIO and Zeuhl, with more than the odd nod towards Art Zoyd and then you may just start to get an idea on what on earth is going on. This is music which demands to be listened to, it isn’t something that can be passed off in the background, as this is a force of nature that that at times is incredibly heavy and dynamic (who needs a guitar?). Dan tends to use sounds such as Hammond, Mellotron and Moog while Angela is out to prove that a cello can be an instrument of mass destruction in the right/wrong hands. I hate to think how many bow strings she demolished during the recording. This is an album of depth, power and passion, dynamic and relentless with every single person acting as a soloist and band leader even when they are all playing together. One can’t afford to do anything else while this is on as there is just so much happening that it has to be concentrated on. This may seem that it is a hard album to listen to, but I found it incredibly easy and enjoyable on the first hearing. This is for anyone who is interested in progressive music which really is that, pushing boundaries and providing an immense album for those prepared to listen. It has been more than ten years since the last album, so when is the next one coming out?
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