A startling, deeply absorbing sonic journey, FOUR confirms Dwight Ashley's dedication to resolutely modern, and sometimes dark and disturbing, expressionist principles. Like the paintings of Francis Bacon or the films of David Lynch, Ashley creates a world inhabited by highly aestheticized surfaces, shadowed figures, and sharply colored landscapes. Yet, as in the work of the aforementioned artists, there is the sense of something gone terribly wrong.
Ashley's instrumental compositions spin a delicate ambience at first, yet they shift and re-settle uneasily, employing dissonance and swaths of unresolved musical tension. Ashley's work borrows from Morton Feldman, Charles Ives, and Brian Eno (if Eno's music were infinitely darker and more paranoid), yet the results are wholly distinctive. As FOUR progresses, the listener is drawn into a series of fascinating musical studies that grow progressively more beautiful, mesmerizing, and distressing.