Biosphere
Substrata


3.5
great

Review

by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
November 2nd, 2006 | 102 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist


Like many ambient artists Biosphere is just one person. Geir Jenssen takes obvious influences from Harold Budd and Brian Eno, two ambient artists that were very successful within the genre. Although Biosphere resembles the two gentlemen that I just mentioned above he does two things completely different from them. It’s not uncommon when an electronica song reaches the ten minute mark but Jenssens longest compositions are a mere seven minutes long. His songs don’t uselessly meander along without any interesting aspects, he keeps his compositions from about three to seven minutes long which is a positive thing if you’re not a patient listener.

A lot of minimalist songs have some sort of buildup, they tend to start off slow and peaceful yet eventually reach a point were there is some sort of a climax. This isn’t the case with Biosphere because only a few of these songs have sufficient build-ups. This can either be a good or a bad thing, it really depends on what you’re looking for. Jenssen creates murky, peaceful, and occasionally haunting soundscapes that dominate a good chunk of the album. Songs such as Uva-Ursi use bird chirping sound effects that lull you into a peaceful atmosphere, Jenssen has the ability to smoothly turn the peaceful effects into a horrific tune as his haunting keyboard notes sound like something that would be used in one of the “Jaws” movies. Hyperborea is another song that reminds me of the ocean as water ripples play over a scratchy, monotone voice. Its atmosphere makes the listener feel like he’s at the bottom of the ocean as Jenssen uses subtle yet effective bubbly effects. The albums closer Silene is the most simple and calm tune off of the album as it is comprised of pure keyboard dynamics that grow louder and softer over the seven minutes. Although the music is extremely simple it is still a hypnotic and oh so relaxing.

Biospheres Substrata is essentially comprised of keyboard bubbles that imitate sounds of the ocean. Throughout the album you can easy identify waterfalls, streams, the deep sea, and other various “water-esque” sounds. My main complaint is that none of these songs build-up which kind of ruins the fun considering the fact that you sit and listen for seven minutes and then the song just comes to a fairly disappointing end. On the contrary this provides an extremely mellow and relaxing atmosphere, Substrata is most effective while reading, doing homework, or sleeping. While Geir Jenssen doesn’t create anything mindblowing with Substrata it is an excellent album for those who want to relax and is certainly a worthy addition to any fans of ambient music.



Recent reviews by this author
The Dead C Secret EarthJohn Coltrane Lush Life
Crystal Castles Crystal CastlesUlaan Khol I
Four Tet RingerHarmonia Musik von Harmonia
user ratings (138)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
hyperi0n STAFF (4.5)
the things I tell you will not be wrong......


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zmev
November 2nd 2006


983 Comments


This sounds like something that would frustrate me as a listener. I remember you talking about the length of this review earlier and it looks fine, good job.

AlienEater
November 2nd 2006


716 Comments


Cool review, I'm not really a fan of ambient though.

The Jungler
November 2nd 2006


4827 Comments


Great review, the length wasn't a problem at all. The only thing that was a little awkward was the flow from paragraph to paragraph, it seemed like each one was an introduction to a review, not the second and third paragraphs. Fantastic job anyway.
I finally got some Brian Eno and I intend to listen to it very soon.

Shadow17
March 12th 2010


67 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Don't know why this is rated lower than other places. I liked the review, but to me this is way more than what is stated. It's an amazing listen to me. Kudos for writing a review for it, though. I just adore the sound of this album.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 5th 2010


5793 Comments


this is pretty awesome

Shadowed Reflection
April 23rd 2010


274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it's much more than a 3.5 IMO. takes a while to get into, though

DeafMetal
January 29th 2011


8588 Comments


wonderful album

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2011


18514 Comments


This is amazing.

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2011


18514 Comments


Yeah this is fast becoming one of my favorite albums. Pretty much spin this every day now and it never gets old.

Wizard
May 1st 2011


19437 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn this is amazing, thanks Hyperion for your blog post.

Digging: Nightbringer - Ego Dominus Tuus

Hawks
May 3rd 2011


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm gonna go ahead and agree with everyone else on this one.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2011


18514 Comments


Still soooo good.

Rev
August 28th 2011


9428 Comments


this album needs more love

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
October 4th 2011


18514 Comments


Someone lurking that needs to listen to this.

DeafMetal
October 4th 2011


8588 Comments


bliss

Maniac!
December 18th 2011


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

brilliant album

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2012


18514 Comments


best ambient ever

Island
February 13th 2012


577 Comments


yes

DeafMetal
February 13th 2012


8588 Comments


lovely

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2012


18514 Comments


best album ever



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy