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Triple LP version. 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 (TO 050CD/BIO 005LP) was voted by the users of the Hyperreal website in 2001 as the best all-time classic ambient album. Cirque - originally released in 2000 - was Biosphere's first album for the UK label Touch. This reissue comes with six bonus tracks and new artwork.
Jon Savage in Mojo (UK): "Fourth full album from ambient pioneer. Coming to prominence with 1992's Microgravity (BIO 003CD/LP) - which along with the first couple of Aphex/Polygon Window CDs, defined the genre ambient - Geir Jenssen as Biosphere has made three of the '90s best albums, culminating with last year's near beat-less Substrata. The idea - as it always was thanks to Eno's On Land (1982) - is music as environment (reflecting, creating): working from his base in Tromso, Arctic Norway, Jenssen offers a polar, Apollonian exploration of the human psyche. Cirque is a perfectly constructed 47-minute sequence: cold clarity up against real depth of field, synth cycles dissolving into sudden moments of sonic revelation that sound like a waking dream - try the first 20 seconds of 'Black Lamb & Grey Falcon'. (And if you think that's pretentious - your loss). Inspired by the story of a young American, Chris McCandless, who walked alone into the Alaskan wilderness and perished, Cirque balances the tightrope between warmth and unease, resolving into a moon melody that leaves you a peace. What a good record!." in his own particular way. The contrasting samples of a child quaveringly saying, 'We had a dream last night,' followed by a rougher sample saying, 'We had the same dream,' gives opening number 'Phantasm' an unsettling feeling. Intensified by the, on the one hand, pretty, on the other, disturbing music, buried synth strings and a soft pulse accentuated by clattering noises deep in the mix, it kicks off the striking Patashnik very well. Though not as openly dark as acts like Lull, for instance, Biospherestill has an edge which isn't just melancholic, it's downright ominous at point. There's the slow crawl of 'Startoucher', for instance, with its buried vocal snippets and deep bass drone, or the blend of the space signal atmospheres of 'Mir' into the low, brooding intro to 'The Shield.' Not everything is so shadowy, though; Patashnik is primarily a relax-and-chill listening experience, but not without its gentle high points. 'Novelty Waves', which became a crossover single in some quarters, has a good dancefloor sharpness to it even as Jenssen slyly sneaks in odd drones and samples through the mix. The opening snippet talking about an extraterrestrial disc jockey on 'Seti Project' is good for a smile, as well as acting as a sharp lead-in to a fast rhythm track. Mostly, though, things continue on a deliciously unnerving pace throughout, gentle enough to go down easy but still just off enough to ensure you can't call this new age folderol for the rave generation." - Ned Raggett - AllMusic