Band: Far Corner
CD Title: Risk
Label: Cuneiform Records (2018)
Rating: An Adventurous and Complex Musical Winner
What do you get when you combine contemporary Classical music composition alongside seventies styled Progressive Rock? What you get is the music of Far Corner and here on Risk their latest release we are treated to a stellar example of what they do best. What they do best is take the compositional style of people such as Stravinsky, Ives and Bartok and then mix it in a blender with instrumentation and performance more akin to seventies Progressive Rock bands such as ELP, King Crimson and Univers Zero. That means itís very out there on the Classical side one moment and then very grounded on the Proggy side the next. This Wisconsin based outfit formed in 2003 but this is only studio album number three for the band. As such these thirteen instrumental compositions, clocking in at a total of sixty-two minutes fall neatly into the Avant-Prog category presenting the listener with a complex and intricate set of compositions. This is music that demands full attention loaded with instrumental virtuosity. Musically itís never in one place for very long. One moment itís all angular and bordering on dissonance and then just as quickly the Hammond organ or Mellotron show up to bring it all home. Itís like all the instruments have their own agenda and each is looking for a space to play. The amazing thing is it works. These guys are great musicians and each knows where to come in and where to leave. Much of this of course is down to keyboardist Dan Maskeís compositional approach, but heís surrounded by a lot of talent, it gets pretty intense at times. I said it before, but it bears repeating, Far Cornerís music is not for the faint-of-heart. It can be startling at times and jarring at others. But the thing I really enjoy about it is that it rarely strays very far from its Prog Rock roots. That makes this disc an adventurous winner for me.