Far Corner - Far Corner - 2004

“A very impressive debut album by a chamber/classical rock quartet”


Far Corner formed in the Spring of 2003 is a American chamber rock ensemble based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that play compositions crafted in a contemporary classical style that maintains the energy level and power of rock. They have an unique style that is not comparable with other bands.


William Kopecky - Electric Bass (fretless & fretful); Dan Maske - Grand Piano, Hammond Organ, Synthesizers, additional Percussion; Angela Schmidt - Acoustic and Electric Cellos; Craig Walkner - Percussion.


Did you noticed the line-up and especially the used instruments. The instrumentation is very untraditional. The cello is often amplified and occasionally distorted with fuzz boxes. At that times the classical music gets a kind of heaviness and a rock edge. The only bands that I can give you as a reference are Höyry-kone and Alamaailman Vasarat. And the combination with the jazzy grand piano sometimes remember me of Univers Zero. I only mention this bands to give you an idea of what kind of music we are talking about. Their debut album has ten tracks. Most of them are between five and eight minutes long but “Something out there” (17:17) and the closing track “Fiction” (16:24) are much longer. Most of Far Corner's music is strictly composed by keyboardist Dan Maske but this album includes also a long piece of improvisation. The special thing about Far Corner is the progressive use of the instruments. The cello and the piano sometimes have the lead role and are providing the melodies. But often the percussion and the bass are the lead and the piano and the cello are used to make the rhythms. So all the instruments are equal and all instruments are assigned melodic, harmonic and rhythmic roles. “Silly whim” (4:54) is the great up-tempo opener of this album. “With one swipe of its mighty paw” (7:40) has amazing rhythm breaks and is sometimes swinging. And a track as “Outside” (5:25) has moments with beautiful melodies. “The turning” (7:39) starts with a jazzy piano and sounds like a jazz fusion piece. So this long album (71 minutes!) has a great diversity of music.


Far Corner is a chamber rock ensemble with a high level of musical craftsmanship that makes progressive and intriguing music. Sometimes with a dark and mysterious edge. William Kopecky is the best-known musician of this quartet and his bass work is again amazing, but Dan Maske, Angela Schmidt and Craig Walkner are all classical trained musicians with very high musical skills. The band has impressed me with this debut album. The progressive use of the instruments and the ability to make complex contemporary classical music that is not sounding too complex has touched my progressive heart.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - September 2005  -   - Cuneiform Records