Kryptogen Rundfunk - Tales from The Mirrored Spaces (CD Zoharum)
On his eighth album Kryptogen Rundfunk decided to incorporate more acoustic instruments to his soundscapes. Mouth harp, bowed guitar, metal plate, singing bowl and of course his voice are all on display mixed in with shortwave radios, synths, and effects. It all helps create a feeling of disorientation. Sometimes this works well, others not so much, but the ideas are there.
The main event on the album is ‘Attention Selector’. This track is an ideal mixture of dirty noise, synth loops and drone. What it does really well is build gradual peaks and valleys. When Kryptogen Rundfunk is pushing everything in the red you can still, just about, hear the melodies droning on in the background, and when he’s finished it’s back to the serene levels of radio static. It’s great, but the best thing about it is there are lots of hidden pockets of sound, and samples, hidden in there. After half a dozen plays, I’m still hearing new snippets of dialogue or drones. I swear there is a version of ‘Blue Moon’ playing in there somewhere. It’s worth the price of admission alone. But sadly, the highs it creates are short lived.
The next section might sound a bit weird but stick with me. Throughout ‘Tales from The Mirrored Spaces’ I’m reminded of listening to the recent Flying Lotus albums. I know that musically that don’t sound a like but they both strike the same chord with me. FlyLo’s albums are well constructed and sound great, but musically I find them a tad boring. Sadly, this is how I feel about ‘Tales from The Mirrored Spaces’. There are sections of the album that sound great. The final third of ‘Argish’ might be one of the strongest sounding moments on the album, but it does extraordinarily little to stir anything me. Other than respect at the skill needed to pull it off. As the drones, wobbles and groans come to a crescendo I applaud Kryptogen Rundfunk on taking so many divergent sounds and making them sound cohesive. The problem is I don’t really enjoy the music. I don’t think ‘Tales from The Mirrored Spaces’ is a bad album, far from it, I just don’t find it very enjoyable. There is little variation on the themes of the songs and when there is its almost unnoticeable due to the amount of layering going on. Which is a shame. Some of the ideas hinted at are great, but the execution doesn’t quite work for me. NR