Personnel: Jeroen Baert, Yumika Lecluyse, David Van Ransbeeck, Louise Vanbiervliet, Claudia Ibarra De Broeckhove (violin); Karel Coninx, Sigrid Keunen, Katrien Van Remortel, Natalie Glos (viola); Seraphine Stragier (cello); Kreng's Diabolik Dozen (strings).
Recording information: Motor Music, Mechelen, Delgium.
Arrangers: Kreng; Pepijn Caudron.
After releasing several albums of intense, often terrifying albums of experimental dark ambient music for Erik Skodvin's Miasmah label, in addition to numerous scores for theater and dance pieces, Belgian musician Kreng (Pepijn Caudron) made his inevitable leap to big-budget film soundtrack work in 2015. Surprisingly enough, the film in question is a horror/comedy called Cooties, and Kreng's score is much lighter and more accessible than his usual works, resembling a more demented, disturbed version of a Danny Elfman soundtrack. The pizzicato strings, ecstatic choral vocals, and melting music box melodies make it clear that this is not a normal Kreng album. That said, there are a fair amount of sudden, frightful eruptions, coming closer to power electronics-like noise bursts than most similar film scores. The accelerating tempo and furious synthesizer arpeggios of "Dink's Death" and the scrambling, discordant strings of "Patriot's Attack" are truly hair-raising. The atmospheric guitars and primitive drum machine guiding "End Credits" provide the score with its most John Carpenter-worthy moment. Cooties is an interesting, amusing score, but it seems like the type of album/film that aficionados of seriously intense, scary movies wouldn't be into. Hopefully it will inspire new listeners to check out L'Autopsie Phénoménale de Dieu and Grimoire, and be truly frightened. ~ Paul Simpson