Biosphere

Dropsonde

Biosphere   Dropsonde

source: dustedmagazine

At work above the Artic Circle for around 15 years, Biosphere’s last few records have shown Norwegian Geir Jenssen using subtle conceptual tweaks to build upon the landmark gossamer style he came close to perfecting with 1997’s Substrata. While Shenzou’s Debussy reworkings and Autour de la Lune’s mining of a French radio play based on Jules Verne’s De la Terre à la Lune provided welcome abstractions, there’s a certain unwanted heavy-hand that settles over Dropsonde’s approach of modal jazz structures and appended percussion. Whereas Jenssen had previously allowed his instrumental loops, samples and gauzy textures to traffic in hints and innuendos, here they become overstated and bluntly obvious. Melody is the focus, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, this emphasis forces the loss of some of the brilliant sheen that made his other records so intoxicating.

Originally released as a six-song LP, the CD version of Dropsonde doubles the length of the vinyl and still manages to omit one track from the original release. The major problem here comes from the added percussion. While not affixed to every track, Jenssen’s sampled drum loops sound as if they were stapled to his pieces as a mere afterthought, and generally his rhythmic counterpoints lack variation throughout the course of his tracks. Previously cadences were implied, but here they come front and center. This isn’t really bad, per se, and when the titular signature kicks on “In Triple Time,” the effect is actually quite sublime. But there wasn’t much of a need to muddy up the birdsong recordings on “Birds Fly by Flapping Their Wings” with generic drum patterns when his typical exegesis would have done just fine. Likewise, the pronounced blurps of “Altostratus” chafe a bit too much, while the harder loop of “Sherbrooke” sounds like an unwelcome return to the click + cut aesthetic.

There are patches of brilliance throughout Dropsonde, however, even with the added skins. “Daphnis 26” approaches Jan Jelinek-worthy loops by holding the percussive patterns at bay – they threaten to pulse hard, but Jenssen always manages to pull back on the reins. For those seeking a return to his earlier highlights, “From a Solid to a Liquid” capably soundtracks transference to melodic whisps, while “Warmed by the Drift” glacially stretches string tones to an effect that almost sounds like bowed ice blocks.

Ultimately, it would be horribly unfair to fault Geir Jenssen for attempting to reach outside of his soundworld in a manner such as this. After all, a lack of variation has undone quite a few musicians who haven’t been going for nearly as long. However, much of the Biosphere catalogue earned repeated spins because multiple listens were necessary to fully grasp the intricacies of Jenssen’s work. Here, the emphasis on modal structures reveals too much too quickly, and the loss of the subtle makes the album just a bit forgettable. Still, it shows that Geir has plenty of tricks up his sleeve even after a decade and a half of work. Whatever comes next will undoubtedly still be worth a listen.
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source: tinymixtapes

Though it is being touted as an effort to incorporate elements of modal jazz with the signature Biosphere “arctic sound,” Dropsonde, put simply, is merely another strong release from Norway’s Geir Jenssen and is very much in the same vein as previous releases, albeit with jazzier, slightly noirish overtones. Much of the album, which was recently issued on CD after having been previously released on vinyl, has a vaguely jazz-tinged flavor, but beneath its downtempo trappings, Dropsonde shows Biosphere remaining close to its ambient techno roots””perhaps even making something of a return to them after the starkness and minimalist austerity of recent Biosphere efforts.

The first half of the album alternates between beatless, Eno-esque ambience and evocative, jazzier soundscapes featuring beats that reveal their vinyl source material. Much of Dropsonde sounds influenced, to some degree, by the Radiohead b-sides of the Amnesiac era. Like the Radiohead tracks, Dropsonde shows Jenssen not so much attempting to create an album of modal jazz per se, but rather utilizing jazz elements to infuse these tracks with a moody, smoky atmosphere. Dropsonde, like previous Biosphere releases, is certainly characteristic of the artist’s signature downbeat and trancelike sound, but the addition of sampled live instrumentation and gentle, brushed drum loops adds a warm, autumnal hue to these pieces. Like his peers Thomas Köner and Jan Jelinek, Jenssen makes liberal use of needle noise and vinyl static to add a pleasant warmth to the proceedings that helps to offset their frigid, wintry chill.

Biosphere, like Brian Eno, has been a pioneer in the genre of electronic ambient music. Additionally, like Eno, Jenssen is a master of using music of a frequently quiet and unobtrusive nature to generate tension and an often palpable mood. Aside from his releases under the Biosphere moniker, Jenssen is an experienced soundtrack composer, having composed the haunting, icy score to the original 1997 Norwegian film Insomnia. Dropsonde, though perhaps closest, structurally, to the 2000 Biosphere release Cirque, is the artist’s most melodic release to date. Conspicuously moving away from the glacial drones and minimalist dub that was featured so prominently on previous Biosphere releases, Dropsonde shows Jenssen putting his compositional skills to better use, as well as utilizing a richer sonic palette than that to which we are accustomed. The album is an accessible and beautifully-produced recording that shows what Geir Jenssen is capable of when he allows his Biosphere project to thaw out just a little.

1. Dissolving Clouds
2. Birds Fly by Flapping their Wings
3. Warmed by the Drift
4. In Triple Time
5. From a Solid to a Liquid
6. Arafura
7. Fall In, Fall Out
8. Daphnis 26
9. Altostratus
10. Sherbrooke
11. People Are Friends
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source: sklepgusstaff

Są takie albumy, w których dźwięku chciałoby się po prostu tylko zanurzyć . Pełne przyjemnychdźwięków i efektów bliskie szmerowej ciszy, ofiarują nam możliwość wchodzenia do równoległegowszechświata, odcinającego się od gorączkowego wyścigu i nerwowości dnia powszedniego. Nikt i nicnie krzyczy w twarz, jest wystarczająco dużo przestrzeni, by pozwolić własnym myślom unosić się wzgodzie tonów z muzyką.
“Dropsonde” jest bardziej przystępny niż ostatnie dzieła, nawiązuje do wielkich albumów jak “Substrata” i “Patashnik”. Biosphere to główny projekt norweskiego artysty GeiraJenssena, posiadającego bardzo obszerną dyskografię. “Microgravity” i “Patashnik”, dwa albumywyznaczające nowe style i kierunki albumy, które ukazały się w legendarnym belgijskim R&S należą jużdo klasyki współczesnej muzyki elektronicznej. Ostatnie cztery dzieła ukazały się w Touch i wskazująna przejście do bardziej organicznych, ambientowych kompozycji. Z racji swego skandynawskiegopochodzenia jego płyty bywają określane jako “arktyczny ambient”, kjrytyka muzyczna reaguje zresztąod lat z euforią na nowe płyty Biosphere.”Dropsonde” to jednak całkowicie nowa droga Jenssena, czerpiąca z jazzowej tradycji Milesa Davisa iJona Hassella, pulsacyjna i hipnotyczna kombinacja elektroniki i jazzu.
Jon Savage: “As with all of the Biosphere albums, the music draws you in and makes you want tolisten and feel. Jenssen’s work acts on a very emotional level, one that encourages you to driftaway into a haze of images and scenes brought to you by the music, where spectacular beauty hidesunseen danger. Intense and moving, but comforting and soothing at the same time.”
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source: 2m2info

曾被很多人选为2006年最佳十张唱片之首,挪威环境音乐大师Biosphere在这张作品中回归节奏,并将爵士以电气的方式巧妙植入其中,如同之前的作品一样,以大篇的氛围开始,悄然引入北欧深海一般的深邃幽暗音景中,而每一段节奏精准的控制,让你保持一颗冰冷的心,在深夜,在黑暗中,Biosphere将你带入无尽的忧伤,像北欧的冬季的海。

Biosphere原名Geir Jenssen,挪威电子音乐家、作曲家,在今天大家都他视为环境音乐大师,事实上90年代初,他是ambient techno的先驱,在后来的创作中,Bioshpere抛开了节奏转向纯粹的ambient,并在Touch出版多张影响深远的环境音乐专辑,因此他在回归节奏不足为奇了。
2006年Bioshpere发表了新专辑,名为Cho Oyu 8201m, field recordings from Tibet。该专辑收录了Bioshpere于2001年9,10月期间攀登西藏的卓奥友峰时所做的实地录音。卓奥友峰,又称“乔乌雅峰”,海拔8201米,位于东经86.6度、北纬28度的中尼边界上,是世界第六高峰。专辑也可看作是此次登山所拍摄影片的原声配乐,还包含了Biosphere专辑Dropsonde的一些素材。

Biosphere目前定居在波兰被称为”小布拉格”的克拉科夫,我的好朋友也是ChoP的发起人Grzegorz Bojanek在邮件里兴奋地告诉我这一信息,他和我一样,是Biosphere的粉丝,同样受到Biosphere影响深远。上个月Grzegorz在克拉科夫的一次演出中与Biosphere相遇,并得知Biosphere的女朋友居然是他一个好朋友的姐姐,Grzegorz心满意足第与Biosphere合影。而另一则消息让我兴奋,Biosphere将参加今年第十届华沙电子音乐节的演出,也就是说我可以和偶像同台演出,我想到时我也不能免俗地与他合影甚至索要签名。