The Wrong Object — After the Exhibition
(Moonjune MJR055, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-06-23It's been about half a dozen years since we’ve heard something new from this Belgian jazz-rock powerhouse. Based on the original compositions mostly of guitarist Michel Delville and keyboardist Antoine Guenet, this new release is still very much informed by the band's earlier work as a Zappa cover band, with the evident influence of bands like Soft Machine and Nucleus, and earlier collaborations with the likes of Annie Whitehead, Harry Beckett, Alex Maguire, and the late Elton Dean. This time out the special guest on about half the cuts is Benoit Moerlen, adding the magic of marimba and vibraphone to the proceedings. In addition, Delville brings in an element of electronics to flavor the arrangements in very interesting ways. The band is rounded out by bassist Pierre Mottet, drummer Laurent Delchambre, and the the dual woodwind front line of Marti Melia (tenor and bass sax, and clarinet) and Francoise Lourtie (tenor, alto and soprano sax). These guys are versatile, rocking hard as they do on opener "Detox Gruel," or taking it to an almost revved-up chamber-jazz feel as on "Wrong But Not False" and "Yantra," they operate all over the map and shred it tastefully from every corner. The obligatory vocal track is "Glass Cubes," where Guenet and guest vocalist Susan Clynes work an angular melody over a beautiful piano underpinning with full band support. Every song here is an adventure, but wherever they go melody reigns supreme, and there's always something interesting going on rhythmically. The dual saxes and guitar get plenty of improvisational space but not so much as to overwhelm; the free improv at the outset of the side-long three-part "Jungle Cow" is nothing short of pure bliss, which later morphs into something far more menacing. A solid hour of brilliance, with some new discoveries and revelations awaiting the listener on every repeat play.
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more