Monday, 13 June 2011

Grimoire - Kreng (Miasmah)

Pepijn Caudron’s second album for Miasmah cracks your skull wide open and casts a spell, especially if you listen with plugs in – a spell so devilishly seductive, so dark, it makes Demdike Stare sound like...Pop – yes, it’s that good. If Pop Sounds and Happy Music in general are godly gifts to lift the hearts of listeners, this extraordinary album is the work of the anti-Christ, and as you know, the Devil has all the best tunes. Not to suggest that Pepijn is a wicked person (I’m sure he’s a nice fellow), but that this record absolutely represents the very best in sinister, mysterious modes of music-making, without resorting to brutalism, ie Noise. There is a remarkable passage in the 9-minute ‘Wrak’, however, in which a skronking sax and electronic maelstrom combine to blow your brain. It’s all the more effective for being sandwiched between plaintive piano, and strings reminiscent of Herrmann’s work for Hitch. ‘Ballet Van de Bloedhoeren’ demonstrates another side of the multi-faceted Caudron in a beautifully melancholic chamber (of horrors) quartet mode made more grisly by a low-end electronic undertow. ‘Satyriasis’ is one of the most intriguing pieces, a subtle exercise in creeping horror sketched out by jazzy brushwork, strings, piano and restrained electro-ambience. This is not an album you can skip through and hope to understand what’s going on, so don’t bother. It demands, and requires close attention because, as in all great horror or Film Noir flicks, the substance and true meaning lurks deep in the shadows. Amazing work.

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