Opening himself up and delving into the depths with Kreng. The Summoner is the Belgians look into grief, having lost a number of people in his life. It's full of his trademark mixture of acoustic orchestral instruments arranged effortlessly with his expansive and bottomless production - deeper than a well, this one. Out on vinyl LP and CD from Miasmah.
Vinyl LP £15.49 mialp 030
LP on Miasmah.
CD £13.99 miacd 030
CD on Miasmah.
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- The Summoner by Kreng
After his grand evocative opening statement six years ago - L'Autopsie Phénoménale De Dieu - this Belgian chap known as Kreng has been quietly devoting himself to creating increasingly powerful and dark ambient classical music, a genre that the imprint in which he feels most comfortable housed within the walls of, Miasmah, excels at hosting greatly. This is his fourth long form sonic adventure.
Whoever sent us this promotion CD had wryly taped up the cover with the legend "WARNING HEAVY" in huge black letters on a yellow label, like this listening experience could lead to some industrial-strength aural hazardry and I may need to see the doctor's afterwards. Cool.
Down to his consistently excellent choice of artwork alone, Pepijn Caudron's latest, The Summoner', appears from nowhere like a tactile, pensive creature becoming an oft ultimately terrifying beast, lunging from nearly-there rustling and ghostly plumes of foreboding charcoal shimmer and unnerving crinkling ephemera into manic psychotic processed string screech. His considered use of near-silence, ominously faded build-ups and full-on brief terror tactics are horrifying and glorious to listen to at 7am through headphones.
It's the strings - sometimes like a tangled, garbled mess of torture and pain - almost the sonic equivalent of a Francis Bacon painting or a vengeful ghost ascending up the stairs to attack you in your sleep. Then they'll wither under the weight of some apocalyptic doom and the whole piece gently fades in suitably dramatic fashion.
Not all the movements on this six track offering have the same kind of sturm und drang tension. ' By 'Depression', with its funereal thud of a beat, It's over three minutes before any element of threat enters proceedings....it's my favourite kind of uneasy peace. Intimate fidgety sounds and amorphous discomfort sit hand in hand. There is a glorious soundtrack feel to the titular track with Belgian doom/sludge affiliates Amenra. After nearly ten minutes of genuine wondrous and faintly cosmic soundscapery comes some perfectly weighted doomy riffing and epic drumwork. In some hands this would sound overwrought and pretentious. As an impressively crushing interlude before the gentle piano and laced atmospheric ponderings of closer 'Acceptance', I gotta give the lads kudos for restraint.
That's what Kreng does. He builds intensely absorbing sound art and suspenseful orchestral vistas with real pathos and undeniable power. I'd quite care to revisit his début and his acclaimed 'Works for Abattoir Ferme 2007 - 2011' now, for he is one of the most celebrated artists working in the field and will definitely appeal to the folk who care more for Deaf Centre's darker core. A perfectly poised work of blackly melancholic and genuinely affecting music.
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