by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
April 9th, 2007 | 5 replies

Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

After exploring the various sounds of the sea with Substrata Geir Jenssen tackles the chilly, frozen tundras with Cirque. I find that both albums would be an excellent introduction to ambient music because Jenssen is able to paint a picture in the listeners head while using minimal effects. The cold, frosty echoes mixed in with the delicate keyboard touches creates vivid imagery and an extremely unique sound. It’s not often that ambient artists have their own original sound but somehow Jenssen manages to create such an exquisite and exclusive atmosphere.

Biosphere accomplishes this with his organic production and lush keyboard soundscapes. The overall sound of Cirque is cold, dark, atmospheric and clammy. Throughout the album you’ll encounter a rain storm, venture into frightening caves, sit in icy caverns and walk up mountains. Jenssens knack for creating such vivid imagery is in full force, with a solid set of headphones the listener will be able to pick up on the subtle touches that really make Cirque a special listening experience.

To describe the separate tracks on Cirque would be pointless because the album functions as a whole, sometimes the music only consists of airy winds or rain droplets hitting the ground. Don’t worry, Jenssen manages to subtly incorporate guitars, pianos, and even flutes into his music even though they are nearly unnoticeable at certain points in the music. For an ambient album I can put Cirque on for background music but I can also listen to it if I want something musically enthralling. However if there’s one aspect about Cirque that I don’t enjoy it’s that the music is not epic, Jenssen relies on repetition to establish the cold, murky atmosphere of the album.

As far as ambient albums go Cirque is one of the more interesting listens that the genre has to offer. It may take some time getting used too due to it’s sparse use of sound effects and instrumentation but when the moment is right Jenssen is able to create some jaw-droppingly beautiful soundscapes. It’s obvious that Biosphere may be to low-key and boring for some but if you have any interest in ambient/electronica then Cirque will not let you down.

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user ratings (35)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 9th 2007


I officially hate the lack of genres above the band names. I really want this now, and you describe (I assume) as best you could. Minor things though:

that I don’t enjoy it’s that the music is not epic, Jenssen relies on repetition to establish the cold, murky atmosphere of the album.

Did you mean *it's that when the music is not epic*?

And you sometimes use 'to' where you should use 'too' (last sentence), but that's all I could pick up. Good review. You always get good mileage out of short reviews, better than most others.

April 10th 2007


I may get some biosphere. He sounds cool

Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2014



Digging: Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co. - Like a Duck to Water

Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2014


its better than this yeah, but its not about snow so its different

June 4th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

i might like this just as much as substrata

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