AMN Reviews: Far Corner – Risk (2018; Cuneiform Records)

Far Corner is the instrumental quartet of William Kopecky on bass, Dan Maske on keyboards, Angela Schmidt on cello, and Craig Walkner on drums, with Jerry Loughney contributing violin. Risk is their third studio album (technical their fourth album overall), and first in about decade. They play a rather charming and unique take on heavy chamber rock. As such, they fall in the middle ground between progenitors in both the 20th century classical and prog rock genres.

From the outset, the group makes it clear that they are not kidding around. Risk begins on the aggressive side and rarely lets up. Maske’s plethora of vintage and modern keyboards (I’m pretty sure I hear a mellotron in there) combines with Loughney’s riffing and lead themes to produce a retro, albeit non-derivative, sound. Kopecky and Schmidt and hold down the low end and then some, adding both color and further motifs. Walkner is a precise and busy drummer, who tightly drives the labyrinthine rhythms with generous use of the double bass.

Far Corner occasionally wears their influences on their sleeves. For example, Flim Flam Man could be subtitled Poking Fun at Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. On the other hand, Myopia is a heady and all-out prog anthem that moves in a more modern direction. But then Past Deeds, Present Treacheries exhibits more of a Univers Zero structure and feel. Further, The Chickening (a great song title) alternates between what sounds like electric guitar riffing (despite that instrument not being credited) and more melodic breaks.

At some point when listing to Risk, you need to just sit back and enjoy it. Regardless of its occasional toying with darkness, this is just a fun album. Highly recommended.

Chicago Scene: December 9-15, 2018

This is a weekly overview live avant performances in the Chicago area. Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Sunday, December 9th 2018

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15)
Dal Niente Presents
Ammie Brod — music by Alejandro Acierto, Lisa Atkinson, Jacob Sudol, LJ White, Katherine Pukinskis

Monday, December 10th 2018

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Wednesday, December 12th 2018

9:00PM at the Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia, 773.227.4433 ($7)
Haley Fohr Residency : Intentions of Sociable Creativity Through Light & Sound
Haley Fohr with special guests TBA
Piece for voice & electronics, featuring Olivia Block

Thursday, December 13th 2018

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($15-$12)
Frode Gjerstad 4tet with Øyvind Storesund, Jon Rune Strøm, PN-L

Friday, December 14th 2018

7:30PM at Narloch Piano Studio, 4636 N Francisco, 262.565.8896 ($10)
Hannah Christiansen, Christopher Narloch — music by Morton Feldman

Saturday, December 15th 2018

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Fred Jackson Jr Quartet with Corey Wilkes, Harrison Bankhead, Avreeayl Ra

9:00PM at the Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia, 773.227.4433 ($10)
Trio Mokili : Nathaniel Braddock, Makaya McCraven, Junius Paul

For more information, such as directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:

http://now-is.org/, http://www.ratchetmusic.com, http://www.mcachicago.org, http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenterschedule.html, http://www.skylarkchicago.com, http://www.hideoutchicago.com, http://www.elasticrevolution.com, http://www.myopicbookstore.com/music.html, http://www.lampo.org, http://dalniente.com, http://iceorg.org/events/category/chicago, http://www.emptybottle.com/

Gord Grdina Plays Tonight in Vancouver

Source: North Shore News.

In his professional career, Grdina has taken these early experiences with blues, jazz, electric instrumentation and, naturally, the oud, to new heights, fusing jazz, improvisation, freeform music, Arabic and Persian sounds and a host of other influences into his many bands and projects, which include his trio, the duo Peregrine Falls, Haram, Sangha and The Marrow, to name just a few. When Grdina returns to his alma mater for tomorrow’s performance, it’ll be with his New York quartet, performing pieces from their 2017 album Inroads, which mixes improvisational jazz with a heavier and darker electric sound.

Exclaim! Reviews

Source: Exclaim!

Xiu Xiu Return with ‘Girl with Basket of Fruit’ LP

Neu!/Harmonia Legend Michael Rother Unveils ‘Solo’ Box Set

Kamasi Washington to Premiere Short Film at Sundance

Paula Matthusen and Olivia Valentine

Lost Philip Glass Recording from 1975 Unearthed for New Reissue

Nils Frahm Returns with ‘Encores 2’ EP

Brian Eno’s Bloom Music App Gets 10th Anniversary Edition

Emanuele Errante – The Evanescence of a Thousand Colors

Piero Piccioni – Il Mondo di Notte

Ingrid Laubrock – Contemporary Chaos Practices

Newsbits: Jack O’ The Clock / Drones in Baltimore / William Parker / Symposium on Double Bass

Jack O’ The Clock will be dedicating sales of their albums to the victims of the Northern California wildfires.

On December 9, The Holy Underground’s last Drone Brunch for 2018 features HeterodyneSarah Hughes, & Corey Thuro.  2021 Maryland Ave. Baltimore MD  21218; 11 AM – 3 PM. Bring contributions if you’d like.

William Parker will be performing at Revolution Books on December 15.

Percorsi Musicali has just posted a symposium on the double bass. It is mostly in Italian, but Google translate is your friend.