While the debut release by Kryptogen Rundfunk was a promising one, but clearly still in the process of searching for a personal style, the latest offering 22.SZ clearly displays that the search had not been in vain. Stylistically the project has now positioned itself somewhere between concrete ambient and noise without forgetting drawing some nuances also from the industrial side. Those familiar with the German language might very well have already guessed that radio plays an important role in the music. It functions as a source for static buzzing and crackling as well as for fragments of speech. Out of these elements, and with the aid of old Soviet era synthesizers, are constructed coherent tracks with a technological, yet not really a modern atmosphere.
It may be due to similar approach to sound sources, but the soundscapes created often bear resemblance to the undisputed master of industrial ambient, Bad Sector. Similarity to Dolmen Factory era material is especially obvious during the tracks Radiokatzenjammer and Krampf, which both combine distinct melodies with harsher noise sculptures. Of those two the latter one is the definite highlight of the album. The balance between melodic drones and scraping noise is delicate, yet well thought out and controlled and thus displays a great sense of composition.
However, the comparison to only one artist is not the whole truth even though the highlights do reside there. For example Ohne Augen develops an unexpected rhythm, which is not utilized to its maximum yet, but still offers an insight to what capabilities Kryptogen Rundfunk possesses for diversifying his expression. Verborgenen Spuren ventures boldly straight ahead into the realm of noise, but manages still to carry the distinct feeling of structure, which sounds very thought out and thus even "musical". On the more industrial side we have Maulkorb in which the combination of looping echoed speech samples and cold metallic drones even reminds me of some calmer and instrumental output by Genocide Organ. A peculiar, yet fitting conclusion is reached with Goworit Moskwa!, which in practice is the national anthem of Soviet Union buried under a sea of radio statics.
22.SZ displays that Kryptogen Rundfunk has matured as a musician and is able to create professional noisescapes with an identity. Different elements are still a bit scattered throughout the album and some ideas still need refining, but the overall impression is a very positive one and thus can be recommended for connoisseurs of more ambient side of noise music. Especially fans of Bad Sector need not think twice about getting this one.