a short biography

cryptic scenery was founded in late 1994 and is the main musical project of the german psychologist and musician christian h. sötemann.

over the years, cryptic scenery has undergone a number of line-up changes. mainly, it can be considered to have existed in a ‘band line-up‘ from 1994 to 2003, in the ‘solo line-up‘ from 2003 to 2009, and, since mid-2009, in the ‘two-piece line-up‘ consisting of christian h. sötemann on vocals, guitar, loops, keyboards and other instruments and thomas pertzel on saxophone and other instruments.

the first available cryptic scenery material, the tape ‘cupboard‘, surfaced in 1995. several song-oriented as well as more experimental albums, e.p.s and even singles have been released over the years. during the years of the solo line-up, the amount of releases of more experimental character vastly increased. cryptic scenery debuted live in late 1997, with a hiatus in live performances between late 2005 and almost-as-late 2010. since then, cryptic scenery has taken up performing live again.

bearing the line-up changes in mind, it is little wonder that the directions the music took have changed  - to an extent - over the years. what has persisted over the years is a focus on aspects of minimalism in a broad sense - that may refer to scarcity of played notes, repetitive piece structures or miniature compositions.

added to that, much of the music is of rather melancholy, at times outright dark nature. whereas a number of albums (notable ‘oceanic feeling‘ or ‘on the outskirts‘, for example) contain material positioned within the world of rock music, others focus more on a drone/ambient/minimalist direction (‘being - six objects‘, ‘the radar society‘ among others). 

a main constant is the piece ‘being‘, which has been released in many versions in a variety of forms since the mid-90s. besides, it is the only track to appear in every cryptic scenery / chs live concert. ‘being‘ is a radical-minimalist piece featuring silence and two intentional notes played to merely display the presence, the ‘being‘ of that very piece. it is something.

in spite of such sonic extremes, the music of cryptic scenery has always oscillated between an experimental, challenging approach... and some more accessible material, at times even pop-orientated songs - it is all part of the world of sounds.