Kreng, the project of Belgian artist Pepijn Caudron
(member of the artistic team at a Belgian theater company),
soundscapes concocted out of
drones, found sounds and chamber instruments, on
L'Autopsie Phenomenale De Dieu (Miasmah, 2009).
The gentle piano pattern of Na De Sex
morphs into a claustrophobic atmosphere for strings and cadaverous jazz.
The subdued industrial polyrhythm of Tinseltown liquefies into
the fragile crescendo of a carillon-like melody.
The quasi-silenced sparse tones of Miranda's Onrustige Slaap
feel like a deconstructed Ennio Morricone soundtrack.
The film sample of Kolossus is used to launch a tribal dance
the eventually dissolves into fuzzy drones and minuscule percussion.
The general mood of melancholy overflows in
Meisje In Auto, that has a woman sobbing while listening to a Chopin prelude over a lounge-style accompaniment (note the three layers of movement:
Chopin is playing, the woman is sobbing, and we listen to this combination at
the sound of a jazzy combo).
The orchestral instruments create a sense of tragedy by droning aimlessly in
Nerveuze Man, a piece that opens and closes with the sample of a crackling opera record.
Het Wordt Ouder is a sonata for bluesy beat, soprano sample and electronic nightmare.
Kreng clearly enjoys creating
confused masses of cryptic sounds like In De Berm Part 3 and
Transmutation Device, although they may sound like distractions.
Of course, the limitation of this work is that every piece is merely a fragment.
It exists per se and in se. There is no further meaning. A few of them attempt
a narrative but mostly this is aesthetic narcissism for the sake of
The notable exception would be the six-movement Suite Voor Scenes Met Mist, that opens with the apocalyptic rumble of Mythobarbital
and continues with the ticking and buzzing wall of sound of
Nimmermeer, decaying into the plaintive string sonata De Storm
and its vortex of drones only to indulge in the humorous game of sampled voices
of Slaapliedje. The longest movement,
The Black Balloon & The Armadillo, is also the most threatening: a
march of the androids and the zombies amid disturbing intergalacting signals.
The ending, Merope, is a surreal parade of drums, strings and piano
that provides the backdrop for the morphing of a soprano into a violin and
The tone of Grimoire (Miasmah, 2011) is, if possible, even more
sinister. After the subliminal overture Karcist, the
seven-minute Le Bateleur stages what sound like footsteps (and later
like heartbeats) against a backdrop of droning instruments and
liquid glitches. Balkop is similarly spectral and solemn.
The nine-minute Wrak repeats over and over again a nostalgic melodic fragment that even survives a free-jazz onslaught.
The composer, clearly fascinated by the classical canon, also flirts with
the faux neoclassical lied Opkropper, the
faux symphonic poem Petit Grimoire,
and the deconstructed baroque music of Ballet Van De Bloedhoeren.
The seven-minute Satyriasis is ultimately a crescendo of drones that
leads to some abstract chamber music with rock percussion.
There seems to be less intelligence at work here than in the previous album.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
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