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Substrata 2

Biosphere

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Album Review

Substrata (released, oddly, on the new age-heavy All Saints label) was the first full-length solo work released by Biosphere's Geir Jenssen following a three-year period of silence. The album was the first of three to appear almost simultaneously, however — the other two being the soundtrack to the psychological thriller Insomnia, on the Norwegian Origo Sound label, as well as his third Apollo album — proving he'd hardly been in hibernation. Interestingly, while many ambient artists have moved increasingly toward the integration of percussion and rhythmic sequencing, Substrata finds Jenssen almost completely abandoning the rhythmic elements of earlier works such as Patashnik and "Novelty Waves," focusing on dark, subtly melodic, often piercingly melancholic soundscapes that flow seamlessly from one to the next. The album recalls the more abstract moments of Global Communication's ambient works, as well as the glacial expanses of Jenssen's 1996 collaboration with Higher Intelligence Agency, Polar Sequences, and is quite easily among his most accomplished, satisfying works to date. [The Japanese edition features bonus tracks.]

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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Substrata 2, Biosphere
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