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Ambient - Released May 21, 2001 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Ambient - Released January 30, 2006 | Biophon Records (Norway)

Geir Jenssen has moved toward something new on Dropsonde -- finally on CD after having been issued on LP some months previously. The CD version contains more music, about 25 minutes more. It's the sound and arrangement of this one that grabs the listener's attention quietly and gently, but nonetheless insistently. First, the definition that provides a telltale hint of the album's sound: a "dropsonde" is a radiosonde, dropped by parachute from an aircraft, to obtain soundings of the atmosphere below. The principle applies here in spades. The opening moments of Dropsonde's second track, "Birds Fly by Flapping Their Wings," are familiar to all of Jenssen's ambient music: a gray sonic wash of random elements that could be weather, water, etc., float in from the margins. A synth plays a quiet drone underneath for a few moments. About 40 seconds in, a drum loop that could be from Tony Williams on a Miles Davis record slips in. It's constant, it never moves, but it shimmers just right for the two-chord keyboard sequence to hover above while the other sounds and keyboards subtly move in ghostly fashion through the middle and underneath. The rhythm is hypnotic, but the piece is far from static -- it just slowly draws you in. There is emotion in it; it feels good; it feels meditative but alive. The piece gradually strips away everything but the sounds the listener heard coming in. The Miles reference isn't a mistake; in a number of tracks here, Jenssen touches upon the jazz musician's colors, modes, tensions, and edgelessness. It's the Miles of the second quintet and the Miles of In a Silent Way, where mode falls away and the smaller, repetitive vamp leads the way in. Check "Triple Time," "Fall in, Fall Out" (with its shimmering, authoritative military-style loop), and "Arafura," which is perhaps the finest articulation of Jenssen's method; it's spare and beautiful yet lush, with slowly unfolding mystery. Other tracks here, such as "Daphnis 26," offer a more forbidding ambient tone before the loops kick in and send the listener to an edge that never quite materializes. "Altostratus" and the opener, "Dissolving Clouds," are far more minimal, almost random in their computer tones and tunnels. The blissed-out "Sherbrooke" is a minor masterpiece, taking the ambient form into new directions with its utilization of sonic loops that become rhythmic statements under the radar. The album closes with the whispering quietude of "People Are Friendly," with keyboards swelling gently in hushed tones as voices appear and disappear through the mix for the entire ten and a half minutes before the album itself, like the track, disappears into silence, echoing memorably but indescribably in the mind of the listener. Jenssen only records when he has something new to say; he's said it here. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Ambient - Released June 5, 2020 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Dance - Released June 27, 2011 | Biophon Records (Norway)

"[A] master craftsman's reaffirmation of a fundamental but lapsed tenet of electronic ambient: you set up a conversation between the machines, and then you step out of the way." © TiVo
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Ambient - Released November 7, 2017 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Ambient - Released June 7, 2019 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Dance - Released November 11, 2016 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Electronic - Released January 22, 2021 | AD 93

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Dance - Released June 10, 2016 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Ambient - Released March 16, 2018 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Electronic - Released September 23, 2016 | Smalltown Supersound

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Chill-out - Released May 12, 2017 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Ambient - Released February 5, 2007 | Biophon Records (Norway)

Unsurprisingly, the geography-oriented ambience of Geir Jenssen's Biosphere project proves a tight fit with Touch, the label launched by former travelogue writer Jon Wozencroft. Cirque collects 11 short Biosphere pieces, each evocative of a photo included in an accompanying booklet. Though the subjects range throughout Europe (from New Year's Eve on London's South Bank to a rocky meadow near Jenssen's native Tromsö, Norway, to rural Hampshire to a mountain on Crete), the music sticks mostly to either soft, textured rhythms -- if Jenssen were a drummer, he'd be using his whisks -- or deep dub/techno with soothing synthesizers over-arching most of the work. One of the highlights, "Black Lamb & Grey Falcon" is ambience of a dark, crackly nature with the melancholy repetition of a guitar and whispers of light classical music in the background. It's difficult to tell whether Jenssen incorporated field recordings into Cirque, and if there are any present, they're in heavily processed form; except for a few vocal samples, there's no explicit environmental feel. In keeping with much Biosphere material, Cirque owns a sense of grandeur and quiet beauty that once again reinforces Jenssen's immense talent in creating evocative electronic music. © John Bush /TiVo
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Dance - Released September 15, 2003 | Headphone

A collaboration between Biosphere's Geir Jennsen and Bobby Bird of Higher Intelligence Agency, commissioned by the Norwegian government for live performance at the 1995 Polar Music Festival. Suitably frosty melodies and glacial textures provide the framework for compositions utilizing the natural environment of the Arctic Circle for inspiration and source material (snow falling, ice cracking and splitting, the clang of cable car mountain lifts, etc.), to often remarkable effect. Sparse beats occasionally bubble up, but the focus is definitely on the icy edge of Arctic life. © Sean Cooper /TiVo
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Ambient - Released May 27, 2002 | Biophon Records (Norway)

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Ambient - Released January 1, 1997 | Biophon Records (Norway)

Geir Jenssen's score for Erik Skjoldbjaerg's acclaimed 1997 film, Insomnia, was also released on CD by the Norwegian label Origo Sound, home to Jenssen's earlier Bel Canto recordings and a snatch of recent Biosphere reissues. As with other of Jenssen's latest releases (Substrata, Polar Sequences), his Insomnia score (here separated out into 17 separate tracks, most between two and five minutes) is tense, indolent stuff. The pressure is diminished somewhat by the brevity of the tracks, but those looking for the conceptual breadth typical of his non-cinematic works will be somewhat disappointed (although, to be sure, such expectations ignore the fact that Insomnia is, after all, a film score). The above caveat noted, however, this is beautiful work. © Sean Cooper /TiVo
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Electronic - Released March 30, 2015 | Touch

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Ambient - Released August 16, 2004 | Biophon Records (Norway)

Invited to plough through Radio France's audio archives in order to create a work to be premiered at the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, Geir Jenssen (aka Biosphere) elected to use an early-'60s radio play on Jules Verne's novel De la Terre à la Lune. Thus was born Autour de la Lune (Around the Moon), on which Jenssen continued to work after its original broadcast. A 74-minute piece in nine movements, the final work is slightly disappointing in comparison to Biosphere's earlier efforts. Things start wonderfully well with the 20-minute "Translation," a sustained soundscape of distant analog melodies, faint transmissions, crackles, hisses, and engulfing atmospheres. But after this initial liftoff, the music is quickly fleshed out of its interesting elements to leave only quiet drones and low hums. Yes, it offers an apt representation of space vacuum and immensity, but beyond this rather facile level of poetry, the remainder of the piece offers little more than a minimal, detached contemplative soundscape. Some stages of this transformation stand out: "Modifié," consisting of heavily filtered music, like listening to a song on shortwave radio from a broadcast very far away, and "Tombant," the last movement, where the music picks up some momentum, sounding at times like some very early Tangerine Dream. On a conceptual level, Autour de la Lune is an interesting album, very much (possibly too) attuned with the widespread sound pictures of the space age. On a musical level, it is a rather flimsy effort from Biosphere. © François Couture /TiVo
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Classical - Released June 22, 1999 | Rune Grammofon

Arne Nordheim has enjoyed relative success, at least in his native Norway, as a composer, but his early electronic music remained largely ignored. One of Rune Grammofon's first projects upon its inception was to release a collection of his electronic works from the late '60s under the title Electric. The release triggered a rediscovery of the music and had an immediate influence on the young generation of experimental electronica artists. Working as a tribute and a testimony, Nordheim Transformed combines remixes by Geir Jenssen, aka Biosphere, and Helge Sten, aka Deathprod (a solo producer and member of the quartet Supersilent). The key word is in the title: transformed. Biosphere and Deathprod don't merely remix pieces like "Colorazione" and "Warszawa"; they have dusted them down and given them a whole new treatment. Early electronic music wears its age on its face: the sound of early tone generators and the crude reverb and editing technique are all unmistakable. But under the hands of these two they fade away completely. Both artists have a penchant for dreamy tunes that allow a minimal, leitmotiv-like fragment to repeat and become a melody while noise-peppered textures evolve in the background. Deathprod has produced the most ambient tracks. A bit warmer and finely detailed, they offer a nice alternative to the light melancholia of Biosphere's music. This is all very remote from Arne Nordheim's sound world, but it makes a pleasant album in its own right, an album fans of Hazard, Oren Ambarchi, and the lighter side of Fennesz will enjoy. © François Couture /TiVo
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Dance - Released June 28, 2004 | Headphone