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KRENG - Grimoire

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Miasmah Recordings mialp 016
Release Year: 2015
Note: re-press of second album from 2011 - a masterpiece of moody & cinematic neo-chamber soundscapes (sometimes electronically enhanced or processed with dramatic effect) from this Belgian artist known for his scores for theatre-plays, often dense & droney and with a surrealistic touch as being locked in a strange otherworld... filed under: eerie chamber-music drones; this really sucks you IN! lim. 500
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €17.00

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"Dampfendes Gebräu: Der Belgier Pepijn Caudron intoniert die Magie alter Zauberbücher.
"Je weniger wir über den belgischen Klangalchemisten Pepijn Caudron aka Kreng wissen, desto besser. Sein Debütalbum "L’Autopsie Phenomenale De Dieu" erschien 2009 wie aus dem Nichts auf dem Label Miasmah. Weitere Informationen: eher spärlich. Mit "Grimoire" schraubt Caudron weiter an seinem Legendenstatus. Ein dampfendes Gebräu aus knackenden Streichern, knarzender Perkussion und halbverstandenen Dialogen. Gleich vom ersten Ton an fühlt man sich aus Raum und Zeit getragen, und wenn zum öligen Dröhnen der Bässe ein heiseres, außerirdisch anmutendes Krächzen "You don’t belong here" verkündet, dann gilt diese Einladung für das ganze Album. Es scheint allzu einfach, "Grimoire" mit einem Soundtrack zu vergleichen. Klar hat Caudron genügend Grusel-Scores gehört, doch ist "Grimoire" mehr als eine Hommage. Der Titel selbst bezeichnet jene Zauberbücher, die besonders im Mittelalter sehr beliebt waren und deren Rezepte und Tinkturen in zahlreichen Legenden überliefert sind. Ähnliches gilt für die Mixtur von Caudrons Musik, von der ebenfalls etwas Magisch-Mythisches ausgeht. //

The less we know about Belgian sound alchemist Pepijn Caudron (aka Kreng), the better. We know his debut release ‘L’Autopsie Phenomenale De Dieu’ appeared seemingly out of nowhere on the Miasmah label in 2009, but other than that very little tangible information has surfaced. This sequel, the blackly monikered ‘Grimoire’ simply re-enforces Caudron’s shadowy legacy with a similarly dank concoction of cracked strings, creaking percussion and half-heard dialogue. Thankfully however Caudron has refined his craft in every way, from the artfully restrained layering of samples to the deliriously magickal atmosphere he manages to conjure up. There is the sense even from the first few seconds of the record that you are transported out of time and reality, and as hoarse, alien breaths croak over oily bass drones the poignant spoken words ‘You don’t belong here’ become an apt anchor for the entire album.

It seems almost too easy to compare ‘Grimoire’ to a film soundtrack at this point; sure Caudron has listened to his fair share of chilling scores but ‘Grimoire’ is more than simply homage, and maybe the clue is in the title itself. Grimoires are books of magic, the most important of which had a stranglehold on cultures both ancient and more recently than most people probably care to realize. These books have slipped into folklore and legend, and like those faded pages of incantations there is something deeply mystical and indescribable about Kreng’s music. Caudron’s background in theatre no doubt forms a strong foundation for his compositions, but there is so much about his work that only creeps into the light after countless hours of study. These songs are best suited to moonlight, strong spice-laced liquors and the dark recesses of our painfully dull existence. Pepijn Caudron has formed a grimy, surreal ode to not only the past, but also what the future might hold, and from the sounds of it we’re not getting off lightly. But then we’re all so tired of pretty, aren’t we?" [label info]


"Having first entered our lives in 2009 with an album so singularly terrifying that it still gives us nightmares, Pepijn Caudron - the elusive mastermind behind Kreng - plunges even deeper into the heart of darkness with a new full-length offering for Miasmah. The results are just phenomenal, combining a palpably European antique grandeur with cutting edge sound design and a pervasive occult charge (a 'grimoire' is a book of spells, don'tcha know). 'Karcist' is the curtain-raiser, wherein ambiguous midnight ambience soon gives way to hands-around-the-throat dread; 'Le Bateleur' is a zombie waltz of baleful clarinet, muted horns and snares flapping like bat's wings. On 'Opkropper', Kreng's neo-classical ambitions swell to the fore, plangent cello lavishly swelling amid Ligeti-style piano jabs and snatches of soprano opera singing that sound like Edith Piaf trapped down a well. 'Petit Grimoire' is the album's seductive highlight, impish strings hanging off a muffled techno pulse, and 'Wrak' is a veritable symphony of things that go bump in the night: shrill violins and discordant woodwind scrapping and scraping over a steadily iterated, Morricone-esque motif. The stately orchestral vibe returns for 'Ballet Van De Bloedhoeren' only to dissolve into a fetid swamp of the sickest drone; 'Girl In A Fishtank' sounds like one of Leyland Kirby and Philip Jeck's clammiest nightmares, a real Death In Venice dirge, its 1920s pomp racked by the threat of cholera, drowning, forbidden lust and war. 'La Poule Noire is a grimm tale with an almost industrial momentum, its reverbed percussion rolling horribly, unstoppably onwards like a steam train to the death factory. Has gothic minimalism ever sounded this vivid, this all-consuming and three-dimensional? Not to our knowledge." [Boomkat]