Biosphere ‎– Substrata²

Label:
Touch ‎– TO:50
Format:
CD, Album, Remastered
CD, Album
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist

Substrata
1-1 As The Sun Kissed The Horizon 1:47
1-2 Poa Alpina 4:11
1-3 Chukhung 7:34
1-4 The Things I Tell You 6:28
1-5 Times When I Know You'll Be Sad 3:44
1-6 Hyperborea 5:45
1-7 Kobresia 7:12
1-8 Antennaria 5:04
1-9 Uva-Ursi 3:01
1-10 Sphere Of No-Form 5:47
1-11 Silene 7:53
Man With A Movie Camera
2-1 Prologue 0:19
2-2 The Silent Orchestra 7:52
2-3 City Wakes Up 5:58
2-4 Freeze-Frames 6:46
2-5 Manicure 4:43
2-6 The Club 1:57
2-7 Ballerina 7:50
Japanese Tracks
2-8 The Eye Of The Cyclone 7:22
2-9 Endurium 10:47

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

CD1 is a remastered version of the original Substrata (ASCD33) on All Saints Records.
Digital editing assistance at Aurora Lydstudio. Additional EQ's at Strype Audio. Remastered on 4 April 2001.

CD2 contains Biosphere's soundtrack to the Russian silent movie 'Man With A Movie Camera', in collaboration with Per Martinsen aka Mental Overdrive, and two bonus tracks from the Japanese version of Substrata (FLCP 1009) on For Life Records/Paradise Island, 'The Eye Of The Cyclone' and 'Endurium'.
Mastered @ Country.

℗ & © 2001 Touch. Made in England.
All tracks published by Biophon Records.

Issued in a tri-fold Digipak sleeve.

Title on spine: "Substrata²"
Title on cover: "Substrata | Man With A Movie Camera"

Variations in the colour of the front cover exist - some are a brighter, purer blue while others have a slightly more magenta/greyish tint. The print on the rear and inside of the sleeves does not seem to vary.

Earlier copies have the website address www.touch.demon.co.uk/substrata.html printed on the back, and CD2 is coloured blue and black.
Later copies have the website address www.touchmusic.org.uk printed on the back, and CD2 is coloured dark brown and black.

There are no variations with the barcode or date.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 5 027803 145023
  • Other (CD1 Cat#): TO:50 Δ1
  • Other (CD2 Cat#): TO:50 Δ0
  • Mastering SID Code (Variants 1&2): IFPI L135
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 1 CD1): IFPI 04C9
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 1 CD2): IFPI 04E6
  • Other (Variant 1 inner ring etch CD1&2): Made in the UK by Universal M&L
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 2 CD1): TO50/1 01 5
  • Matrix / Runout (Variants 2&3 CD2): TO50/2 01 5
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 2 CD1): IFPI 0416
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 2 CD2): IFPI 04H6
  • Other (Variant 2 inner ring etch CD1): MADE IN THE UK BY DISCTRONICS
  • Other (Variant 2 inner ring etch CD2): MADE IN THE UK BY UNIVERSAL M&L
  • Matrix / Runout (Variant 3 CD1): EDC TO50/1 02
  • Mastering SID Code (Variant 3 CD 1): IFPI L136
  • Mastering SID Code (Variant 3 CD 2): IFPI L135
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 3 CD1 nr1): IFPI 0497
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 3 CD1 nr2): IFPI 04BD
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 3 CD2 nr1): IFPI 0401
  • Mould SID Code (Variant 3 CD2 nr2): IFPI 04A0
  • Other (Variant 3 inner ring etch CD1&2): MADE IN THE UK

Other Versions (3 of 3) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
TO:50 Biosphere Substrata²(CD, Album, RM + CD, Album) Touch TO:50 UK 2001 Sell This Version
TO50 Biosphere Substrata²(20xFile, MP3, Album, 320) Touch TO50 UK 2001
TO50 Biosphere Substrata²(20xFile, FLAC, Album) Touch TO50 UK 2001

Recommendations

Reviews Show All 11 Reviews

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onpurpose

onpurpose

July 15, 2017
edited 7 months ago
Beware!! If you want to buy Substrata album and have good amplifier and loudspeakers, don't buy this 2001 release, the remaster work is awful and painful to the ears, the synthesisers saturates everywhere and it's really breaking the listening experience. The original 1997 releases are by all means just perfect.
BluesirTheFox

BluesirTheFox

February 9, 2013

This was the first ambient album I ever bought, and I couldn't be happier with my introduction. The cold, lonely, dark and sometimes peaceful atmosphere within each of the 11 parts (which all flow flawlessly from one to another) is incredible. This is all because of the excellent ideas and sound design which make for a suspenseful, memorable experience. A classic for all time and a must own.
scoundrel

scoundrel

May 3, 2012

No way around it: SUBSTRATA is an astounding piece of ambient work. The slow, creeping melancholy of "Poa Alpina" and the smooth pulses of "Chukhung" lull the listener into a glacial landscape, where everything is tinted blue by the ice. At other points, he helps you enter a dream-world, as on "Hyperborea" or on the floatation device that is "Kobresia." Elsewhere, "Antenmaria" extracts a choral sample and sets it into an angular background, while the steamer ship that blows its way through "Sphere of No-Form" suggests a long journey. But for me, the track that takes the icing is "Times When I Know You'll Be Sad." It seems simple: some ringing bell tones, a guitar lick, a voice sample -- but somehow it builds into something meaningful and, yes, sad. On the second disc, _Man with the Movie Camera_, Jenssen once again delves into soundtracks, but this time, on his own terms, using Vertov's silent film as his basis (the Cinematic Orchestra would do the same). Jenssen throws in surprises -- the sudden strings of "The Silent Orchestra," the low beat of "City Wakes Up," the odd instrumentation of "Ballerina." Of the two Japanese tracks that occupy the remainder, "The Eye Of The Cyclone" has an almost tribal element to the percussion, but morphs, hinting all the way back to "Baby Satellite" from his first album, while "Endurium" heads back into a thicker bass, though in much more abstract surroundings. Excellent nonetheless.
quirky83

quirky83

March 1, 2008
I love man with a movie cam more than substrata even though the whole show is completely timeless.You can expect nothing but the best from Mr.Jennsen.All in all it's a subtly yet epic voyage into ambient realms and is in a league of its own.Man with a movie cam makes you feel like your in a film about the deepest of dreams and will really grab the inside of your soul.I recommend this one with a hot bath,incense and candles or alternatively to fall asleep to, but in the best possible way. To cut a long story short it's a classic.
Ortofon_S_On_Acid

Ortofon_S_On_Acid

February 9, 2008

This is Geir Jenssen at his best.
The lyrics are a mix of quotes from David Lynch's Twin Peaks
(Episode 9, 2002, 'Coma': "In my vision I was on the veranda of a vast estate, a palazzo of some fantastic proportion .. and I awoke with a tremendous feeling of optimism and confidence"), some more allusions to the power of the subconscious, german samples ("Hallo Schanghai - Ja, Bitte") and more weird stuff.
Hypnotically enveloping creepy electronica, designed to reward the careful listener. Highly recommended, something especially for the enquiring minds among us.

Reticulum_Flux

Reticulum_Flux

March 4, 2007
edited over 10 years ago
Well i'll try to keep this review short. If you've never heard this CD before... Then you're missing out. IDM? Not really... Ambient? Yes, very much so. Not your typical ambient mind you. This ambient is pure arctic. You can feel the cold winds in Sphere of No-Form. Meanwhile tracks like Poa Alpina and Hyperborea warm you up with their unique sound. You'll also hear various samples of voices (both english and russian), an airplane and various nature sounds. This adds a lot of life to the music. As a bonus, this re-issue comes with Geir's soundtrack to "Man With A Movie Camera", which as far as I know, was unavailable in CD format before this release. The sound of these tracks is very different then the Substrata side, but i'm guessing it was included probably because the music was recorded around the same time of eachother. As if that wasn't enough, we also get the 2 b-sides of Substrata that were included only in the Japanese release of the album in 1997. If you're considering getting into Biosphere, this would be the best place to start.. Not only do you get his classic (and probably best) album, but the bonus tracks just make it that much sweeter.
tcordes

tcordes

July 17, 2006
edited over 11 years ago

Substrata is NOT overrated. Substrata is the mark of an ambient genius. I say this as one who initially was, at best, lukewarm towards it. I say this as one who owns thousands of albums and comes across plenty of fodder. This album needs time to grow, to plant its melodies, like seeds in your head, to sprout years later upon further listening. If you like brain-tingle ambient, Substrata won't disappoint. I do not say this lightly.

I will only single out three tracks for special mention. 1 vividly evokes childhood memories as planes pass in the distant sky. I usually hate "environmental music", so to even mention this track is quite a compliment. 4 should immediately satisfy as it's brilliant and not inaccessible; and quintessentially Biosphere. 10 is the drop-dead standout track of the century. You may not believe it on first listen, but... trust me. Play it with headphones very (very!) loud.

Any true ambient fan who doesn't at least acknowledge some of the brilliance in Substrata hasn't listened to it enough. Period.
brommer

brommer

February 12, 2005
edited over 13 years ago
The first disc, the original substrata, is a journey through northern landscapes, a cohesive album filled with deep drones, lovely minimal melodies, some outside sounds and voice samples. In my opinion the best release from Geir, capable of standing the test of time -because it avoids the use of rapidly aging beats. And certainly a good way to start experiencing organic ambient.
plaidzebra

plaidzebra

January 30, 2005
edited over 3 years ago

Despite the overwhelmingly positive ratings for "Substrata," I'd be hard pressed to name a more overrated recording. Not bad by any means but largely unmemorable and unaffecting, "Substrata" sounds like a series of ambient cliches and rewards less and less with repeated listens. The bonus tracks are in a completely different style, that of Biosphere's ambient techno circa 1994-5, but are equally forgettable. The additional soundtrack, "Man With A Movie Camera," represents yet another completely different style, and without the film it was intended to accompany I imagine it will appeal mostly to diehard Biosphere fans.

Edit: I feel I’ve missed the mark on this one. While at times “Substrata” seems obvious and formulaic (plane buzzes past swathed in reverb, plaintive melody repeats swathed in reverb, sound of wind and reverb), isolating those elements from the whole is not fair, and doesn’t determine the overall quality of the recording. I’d have preferred to delete my original review, but doing so is apparently no allowed. Instead of a completely new review, I’ll defer to the numerous other reviews of “Substrata” on Discogs which helpfully articulate why the album is so revered by many.

March 27, 2003
if you already have the original version of substrata, i just wanna let you know, that you´ll have to be a serious biosphere-addict, if you buy this release as well. the tracks on cd2 is not nearly as deep and touching as the 'original' ones.