Kreng
L'Autopsie Phenomenale De Dieu


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
July 28th, 2009 | 67 replies | 12,856 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is the stuff cult classics are made of. To whatever cult that is, though, I wouldn’t drink the punch.

There’s a special place in the cultural lexicon for shit like this, art so wrapped up in its own artiness it begs the question whether or not the artist even understands it. The kind of album that gets one cursory halfway-through listen before it’s discarded in favor of the feel-good indie band-of-the-month, only to be revisited months later, now tagged as the “challenging listen.” And this time, with the proper mindset, it’s fantastic; a chilling, monumental work that despite not being all that musical or (let’s face it) enjoyable, clicks. Perhaps it’s out of respect for the artist being able to create something so colossally profound that it doesn’t matter whether or not one “understands” it per se, just so long as one goes along for the ride. Maybe it actually does pluck some rusty strings untouched by so many variations on indie hymns, but either way, it’s loved. Then it’s never listened to again.

L’Autopsie Phenomenale de Dieu is so that album.

Kreng is an ambient artist whose full length debut consists of two nineteen minute creepfests that will freak shits out of audiences with its remarkably distinct atmosphere and masterful use of texturing and sound effects. Shuffling footsteps, clunky mallet percussion, dialogue samples, screaming, weeping, sex, it’s all here. Kreng’s background consists of scoring films (none of which are famous), and L’Autopsie evidences that. The whole thing sounds like it’s being played under an art movie, black and white with heavy fog machines and dimly lit streets (Youtube “Kreng” for some hilariously meaningless drek inspired from his music). The common comparison is that Kreng’s music is like David Lynch’s films; It’s not impossible to imagine scenes from Eraserhead or Inland Empire rolling over Kreng’s psychologically damaging brand of spooky ambient. Both artists' work comes off more eerie than downright scary, but equally as powerful, if not more so.

The sound of L’Autopsie closely resembles what Godspeed You! Black Emperor were doing on F#A# (Infinity) in between snippets of actual melody. The album centers on sparse noodling all in the name of mood, and sometimes it works beautifully. In one particularly chilling sequence on side A, Kreng introduces an unsettling tri-tone violin theme, offsets it with a disconcerting dialogue sample, transitions into a perversely manic pounding of marimbas, then finds a wailing jazz singer bluesing “Oh lord!” independently of an accompanying saxophone. The brilliantly demented sequence occupies most of the Side A’s twenty minutes, and when it’s finished, the sound of crying jarringly leaves the imprint the whole L’Autopsie project is designed for.

Side B is less effective than its predecessor, practically out of sheer exhaustion. It’s obvious L’Autopsie “climaxes” around the end of Side A, and Side B’s modern drums (read: random hits) and wind noises are exhausting. It diminishes the record’s power as a whole; the record already caters to an acutely specific mood, so having a lackluster half just makes it more obscure. Still, for what it is, L’Autopsie Phenomenale De Dieu has the goods to be extremely special to someone; this is the stuff cult classics are made of. To whatever cult that is, though, I wouldn’t drink the punch.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2009



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hi I'm Adam Downer and here's a review you won't read about an artist you won't listen to

NotMrBlonde
July 28th 2009



395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Am totally enjoying this right now...

fireaboveicebelow
July 28th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this looks like something I'll like

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 28th 2009



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this looks like something electric city would like.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 28th 2009



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

boring pretentious bullshit yeah 3.5/5

rasputin
July 29th 2009



14540 Comments


lets say hypothetically that i was pretentious, would i enjoy this

Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2009



17204 Comments


I only listened to side a and all I have to say is that some of the instrumentation on this is downright disturbing when listening in the right setting.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2009



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

rasputin, you'd probably like this yeah, and redsky, word.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
July 29th 2009



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

you guys are all boring and pretentious

gaslightanthem
July 29th 2009



5209 Comments


u talking to me

gaslightanthem
July 29th 2009



5209 Comments


?????????!!!!!!!11"?

fireaboveicebelow
July 29th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this isn't boring or pretentious at all, just really good

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2009



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Glad this is getting good reception, I don't think it's boring really, but I can see why some might. Sat between a 3.5 and a 4 for a while but chose the former for that reason. Might bump later

Monticello
July 29th 2009



805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I feel so chilled out right now after this album.

lobby
July 30th 2009



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

heard this was really good

fireaboveicebelow
July 30th 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

too bad if anyone but staff reviewed this not one person would check it out

poopty
July 30th 2009



319 Comments


there are some non-staff who are quite influential on people's tastes

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
July 30th 2009



862 Comments


will check this out when my xploded laptop returns from the doc, what you showed me was definitely cool

rasputin
July 30th 2009



14540 Comments


i just had an inexplicable urge to post in this review

poopty
July 30th 2009



319 Comments


downer made you didn't he goddamn that swine [flu?] fleck



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