The Wrong Object – After the Exhibition (2013)

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After five years, the Wrong Object returns with an expanded lineup — and a radically expanded sound palette, with bold electronic textures from new keyboardist Antoine Guenet and stunning harmonic complexities from a pair of saxists in Francois Lourtie and Marti Melia.

Founders Michel Delville (guitar, electronics) and Laurent Delchambre (drums) are also joined by just-added bassist Pierre Mottet for After the Exhibition, which begins with a boisterous, horn-driven statement of purpose on the opening moments of “Detox Gruel.” Soon, the Belgian prog band’s larger goals — mixing angular Zappa-esque intellect and furious invention — become clear, as the song begins marching inexorably forward through a series of sharp turns and sudden stops.

“Spanish Fly” offers an ever-so-brief respite, in the form of a delicately conveyed acoustic piano intro, before the Wrong Object take flight again — this time playing in mathematical tandem with Benoit Moerlen (who appears on marimba and electronic vibes across six cuts). “Yantra,” swirling and hypnotic, gives way to the grease-popping prog-funk of “Frank Nuts, which in turn is subsumed by the three-part “Jungle Cow” suite — an utterly engrossing narrative that moves across a sweeping landscape of sound.

And After the Exhibition, issued by Leonardo Pavkovic’s MoonJune Records, is somehow just getting started. Still to come is the eight-and-a-half-minute opus “Glass Cubes,” which finds vocalist Susan Clynes guesting on a scintillating free-form jazz excursion. Later, a fizzy polyester-era reverie surrounds “Wrong, Not False,” as it moves from a trickling electric piano to a soaring guitar solo.

“Flashlight into Black Hole,” brawny and episodic, is followed by the simply titanic album-closer “Stammtisch,” which finds the sextet playing with a girder-rattling intensity — improvising on top of improvisations, adding layer upon layer of sound, like a wildly cathartic moment of impressionism. When it, and After the Exhibition, is over, there is a curious, room-filling silence that just begs you to listen again.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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