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Cirque

Biosphere

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Album Review

Unsurprisingly, the geography-oriented ambience of Geir Jenssen's Biosphere project proves a tight fit with Touch, the label launched by former travelogue writer Jon Wozencroft. Cirque collects 11 short Biosphere pieces, each evocative of a photo included in an accompanying booklet. Though the subjects range throughout Europe (from New Year's Eve on London's South Bank to a rocky meadow near Jenssen's native Tromsö, Norway, to rural Hampshire to a mountain on Crete), the music sticks mostly to either soft, textured rhythms — if Jenssen were a drummer, he'd be using his whisks — or deep dub/techno with soothing synthesizers over-arching most of the work. One of the highlights, "Black Lamb & Grey Falcon" is ambience of a dark, crackly nature with the melancholy repetition of a guitar and whispers of light classical music in the background. It's difficult to tell whether Jenssen incorporated field recordings into Cirque, and if there are any present, they're in heavily processed form; except for a few vocal samples, there's no explicit environmental feel. In keeping with much Biosphere material, Cirque owns a sense of grandeur and quiet beauty that once again reinforces Jenssen's immense talent in creating evocative electronic music.

Biography

Born: 30 May 1962 in Tromsø, Norway

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Biosphere's Geir Jenssen hails from Tromso, Norway, a city 500 miles above the Arctic Circle. A founding member of quasi-new age Norwegian trio Bel Canto, Jenssen recorded a pair of albums with that group for Belgium's Crammed label before departing to record solo, first as Bleep, then as Biosphere. He released a number of Bleep singles through the late '90s on Crammed subsidiary SSR, as well as the full-length The North Pole by Submarine, issued in 1990 and an acknowledged precursor of what became...
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Cirque, Biosphere
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