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Biosphere - Dropsonde


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Artist: Biosphere

Title: Dropsonde

Label: Touch

Catalog: TO:66 CD

Released: 2006

 

Tracklist:

 

01. Disolving Clouds

02. Birds fly by Flapping Their Wings

03. Warmed by the Drift

04. In Tripple Time

05. From a Solid to Liquid

06. Arafura

07. Fall in Fall out

08. Daphnis 26

09. Altostratus

10. Sherbrooke

11. People are Friends

 

Geir Jenssen AKA Biosphere is a real old-timer in electronic music, and here in Norway he's considered one of the real pioneers in the craft. He's classic albums are....well....classic, but I haven't been too big a fan of his latest efforts. However, a Biosphere release is a must-buy for me out of completist reasons. My expextations were high going in to this thing, and they were not lowered by various newspapers calling this thing Jenssens greatest work up to date....

 

lets see if it is...

 

 

01: Dissolving Clouds

The album kicks off with an extremely floating ambient piece. It's not really dark, but you can't really say that it's light either. It's got a bit of an eerie and dizzy quality to it. Various blips and blops move around with the soundscapes. It feels sort of like a doorbell from outer space or something. nice opening!

 

02: Birds Fly by Flapping their Wings

Track numer one floats seemlessly over in to this tastey piece. This is a more rythmically driven track with a very groovy jazz-inspired breakbeat driving it all forward. This is Jensen as a more accessible and listener-friendly artist than we've seen on his previous. Tracks like this one will probably be enjoyed by wider audiences than he's normally used to. I for one can't get enough of this. Excellent!

 

03: Warmed by the Drift

This is, as the tracktitøe suggests, a very warm, drifting experience. This is biosphere in a more ambient mood, floating around on a current of hot air. The track gradually builds in strength, but keeps it's beatlessness throughout the journey. Still - this is actually very listenerfriendly stuff, and you really don't need to be a total ambient-freak to enjoy this.

 

04: In Tripple Time

In tripple time takes you from absolute beatless ambient to breakbeat-ridden(and again pretty jazzy) longe-terretory in no-time. And when I say lounge - just relax, It's not the stuff you'll find at your local deli or diner(Unless you're in Tromsø, perhaps), this is magnificently produced über-groovey and slightly psychedelic chill at it's finest.

 

05: From a solid to liquid

On this track Biosphere flirts with darkness. But it's only a flirt, it's really nothing too serious, as you can clearly see that light and warmth is never far away. We're once again moving withing the realms of total ambience, and by now you should have noticed the pattern emerging. Ambient - Beats - Ambient - Beats - Ambient.....Sweet!

 

06:Arafura

It actually took me quite som time to discover that pattern, because the flow of the music is so perfect. You don't really realize when the tracks change if you're not paying attention. "Arafura" does not break the pattern, allthough the beats present here aren't the most stand-outish in the blend of sounds. Heavilly bass-driven this places it self as a nice piece in the overall puzzle that is this album. Hypnotizing!

 

07: Fall in Fall out

The title of this track actually pretty well describes the overall feeling i often get when I really listen to this album. It can just be there, totally hypnotizing you - and then all of a sudden something in there just snaps you out of it. The track breaks my neatly figured out pattern as this clearly has some beats involved. It's also got a ceirtan idm-feel to it. So is it any good? - Yes it is....

 

08: Daphnis 26

This is one of those tracks I don't really notice to much. When it comes on, I recognize the sounds and oddity that is there, but I can't really place it anywhere. It's got a sort of new-age(ish) quality to it - and the first four minutes somehow reminds me of a mantra chanted over and over and over and over and over again. It's pretty nice, and it maintains the overall flow of the album, but at this point it is however not a favourite of mine. After about four minutes, however a breakbeat transforms the track in to a listener-friendly frenzy that's highly enjoyable.

 

09: Altostratus

If I'm ever to direct a detective-movie this will have to be my title-track. It's so mysterious. It really sounds like the track is trying to keep some kind of a secret from you. It's pretty different from the rest of the album, but still strangely seems to fit.

 

10: Sherbrooke

The other day I had I few friends over. We were having a nice time, and we'd listened through the entire album up untill this point. Needless to say there had circulated some herbal tobacco and the mood was pretty good. However one of my friends really flipped out over this track - It totally freaked him out! He thought the disc was scratced, and that it was just skipping - and I can ceirtanly understand why he'd make such a mistake. A very odd beat(if you can call it that) creates this illusion. Together with the blissfull ambience it's a beatiful trickester, though...nice!

 

11: People are friends

Despite the happy and naive title, this is perhaps the darkest piece here. Again there is more mysticism. A flute-like synth playing melodies over eerie and floating soundscapes makes this track perhaps the gloomiest experience of the album. A nice way to softly float away...perhaps go to sleep or get back to the stereo and press play once more.

 

 

Final remarks:

So...Needless to say, I'm really loving this album! Is it Jenssens greatest work? Perhaps - time will tell. After all his clasic albums have been around for a numer of years, and this thing is only a few weeks old. Still, I'm pretty confident that this will resist the damage that time so often can do to music. My only remark is that the album could have been longer...Bottom lin though: Highly recomended for annyone interested in a little inner(and outer) exploration!

 

Tomas(Psychedelic Mustache)

 

Get it here:

Psyshop

Amboworld

CdOn

Play

Discobole

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Yeah, this album is probably his best since "Substrata". Extremely chilling atmosphere, and it just has something to it which makes it special. My faourite tracks were "Sherbrooke", and "Birds Flying By...", but there's really no weak points here. Rating: 9/10.

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  • 7 months later...

The whole album takes you through a variety of distant, isolated, inner journeys.

My favorite tracks have to be 4 and 7

After listening to this album a couple times it really is a great peice of ambient work. A clever contrast of harsh and soothing melodies.

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Fantastic album. Together with Patashnik the best from Biosphere (IMHO of course).

 

I just was able to listen to the second half of the album after a half year of listening - becouse i usually fell a sleep before:)))

 

But seriously, its nice fusion of this deep,hypnotic ambient with those bits of jazz etc.

 

Also seen Biosphere live on spring and the projektion together with the music was amazing!

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