Far Corner could not be a more apropos name for this instrumental quartet from Milwaukee that employs a limited arsenal of instruments to make provocative and moody soundscapes. Seemingly originating from the deepest recesses (a far corner, if you will) of the human mind, the 10 compositions on Far Corner's self-titled debut come across as strangely familiar yet uncomfortably mysterious, almost forbidden. A big sound is created using a small palette of instrumental colors - fretless and "fretful" electric bass, grand piano, Hammond organ, synthesizers, acoustic and electric cellos and percussion - lending a chamber-orchestra dimension to Far Corner's music. Think Presence rewriting a Stravinsky composition in blood.
While most of Far Corner's experimental compositions are written by keyboard player Dan Maske, the band also excels at improvisation and has excellent knowledge of their respective instruments' capabilities. There are moments in the paradoxically titled opening track, "Silly Whim," that sound like they belong in the score to a horror film, while the improvised minimalist approach to the 17-minute three-part "Something Out There" still manages to leave deep sonic scars. By contrast, 'The Turning" adds delicate jazz flourishes to an upbeat tempo for a surprisingly chipper presentation. Despite Far Corner's inherent dark tendencies and dexterous musicians, the presence of masterful bassist William Kopecky - one-third of the bizarre yet fascinating prog-metal power trio Kopecky - gives this CD additional depth and tone. Even listeners who aren't typically drawn to instrumental albums may be enlightened by a visit to this Far Corner.
Recommended without hesitation.
1) Silly Whim (4:54)
2) Going Somewhere (5:01)
3-5) Something Out There (17:17)
6) With One Swipe of its Mighty Paw (7:40)
7) Outside (5:25)
8) Tracking (6:33)
9) The Turning (7:39)
10) Fiction (16:24)
Total Time: 71:05