Biosphere is the main recording name of Geir Jenssen, a Norwegian musician who has released a notable catalog of ambient electronic music. He is well-known for his works on ambient techno and arctic-themed pieces, his use of music loops, and peculiar samples from sci-fi sources. His 1997 album Substrata was voted by the users of the Hyperreal website in 2001 as the best all-time classic ambient album. This expanded reissue comes as a two CD set: CD one is a remastered version of Substrata; CD two contains Biosphere’s soundtrack to the Russian silent movie Man With A Movie Camera (1929), two bonus tracks from the Japanese version of Substrata, plus the commissioned work “Laika”.
Sebastien Crusener via Discogs.com: “Substrata by Biosphere is one of the all-time classic ambient albums, if not the all-time classic album. Chilling atmospheric tones with ambient samples of ice, snow, forests, Twin Peaks-samples and Russian radio broadcasts… Substrata is difficult to describe in words alone. This is one album that every ambient fan needs to hear, if not own. For my own part the album is never far from my stereo. From the initial drone of an aircraft high overhead to the rambling monologues of later tracks every minute sends a chill down your spine. Biosphere’s work is often described as ‘dark ambient’ but to me this sounds too negative as every piece of music Geir Jenssen composed expresses so many different feelings and his albums are not simply a couple of ‘drones’ thrown together. Neither is Substrata. Substrata is inhabited by the vast spaces spreading across the artic region, endless nights and midnight sun, sub-zero temperatures and northern lights. This is a 60-minute long masterpiece that takes you on the most unique trip you’ll ever have experienced. Never has a record been so intimate with nature, so close to the sounds, colours and smells of its environment. Jenssen emphasises the intensity of these elements by bringing them into his beat-less compositions, allowing them to take control of this new organic world. From time to time, more urban sounds come into the spectrum, when voice samples – from Twin Peaks f.e.- telling abstract stories (remember the vision of Dale Cooper?), or a melancholic guitar offering support to an unlikely song emerge, but always, these components get swallowed in by the magma-like ambience. The listener becomes a helpless witness of the beauty and cruelty of this CD.“