B IS FOR BIOSPHERE (PT1)

Some ambient house is warm, analogue and welcoming – like The Orb. Other ambient house is cold, icy and aloof. Biosphere is one of the latter.

Biosphere is the main recording name of Geir Jenssen (born 1962), a Norwegian musician. He is well known for his “arctic ambient” style, his use of music loops, and peculiar samples from sci-fi sources. His track “Novelty Waves” was used for the 1995 Levi’s campaign. His 1997 album “Substrata” is generally seen as one of the all time classic ambient albums

Jenssen was born in 1962 in Tromsø, a city within the Arctic Circle in the northernmost portion of Norway. In 1983, he composed his first piece of music. In 1985, Jenssen was part of the newly-created Norwegian moody synth trio Bel Canto. They released their first two albums together. In 1989, he left the band in order to pursue a different music style altogether. Throughout the late 1980s, Jenssen used the moniker Bleep, under which he produced various tracks. His early influences were from acid house and New Beat music. Released In 1990, The North Pole By Submarine was his first solo album. This album would, however, also mark the end of both the Bleep name and a distinct change in artistic direction.

Following the release of The North Pole By Submarine, Jenssen chose a new musical direction and began releasing his music as Biosphere on obscure Norwegian compilation albums, marking a major stylistic change as well as avoiding any association with “bleep house”.

Released in 1991, Microgravity was the first full-length Biosphere album, released on the small Norwegian label Origo Sound. Previously, Jenssen had failed to get his new album released to a wider listening base by the Belgian record label SSR, who weren’t sure what to make of the arctic influenced and obscure sci-fi and cult-movie sample driven ambient house that made up most of the album. Eventually, Jenssen did manage to get the album released on the R&S Records subsidiary Apollo in 1992, to much critical acclaim.

In 1994, the second Biosphere album, Patashnik, was released. Through Patashnik, Jenssen continued to explore his ambient-house stylings to an even greater extent. Patashnik contained the first hints of the reduction in beat-driven song structure that would mark later Biosphere releases. Unlike the first album, Patashnik was quickly picked up by a comparatively large international audience.

Biosphere – Tranquilizer

Biosphere – Novelty Waves (Mark Bell Remix)

Biosphere – Baby Interphase Remix

Biosphere website

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~ by acidted on June 23, 2008.

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