Biosphere ‎– Substrata

Label:
All Saints ‎– ASCD33
Format:
CD, Album, Digipak
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist

1 As The Sun Kissed The Horizon 1:45
2 Poa Alpina 4:10
3 Chukhung 7:33
4 The Things I Tell You 6:29
5 Times When I Know You'll Be Sad 3:44
6 Hyperborea 5:48
7 Kobresia 7:10
8 Antennaria 5:06
9 Uva-Ursi 2:51
10 Sphere Of No-Form 5:56
11 Silene 7:56

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Digital editing at Aurora Lydstudio.
Additional eq's at Strype Audio.

℗ 1997 All Saints Records

Manufactured in the UK.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Written): 5 023701 003328
  • Barcode (Scanned): 5 023701 003328
  • Matrix / Runout: C5740 ASCD 33 • 1:0
  • Mastering SID Code: IFPI L122
  • Other (Mastering Text): MASTERED BY NIMBUS

Other Versions (5 of 15) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
sound 19 Biosphere Substrata(CD, Album) Origo Sound sound 19 Norway 1997 Sell This Version
thi 66033.2 Biosphere Substrata(CD, Album) Thirsty Ear thi 66033.2 US 1997 Sell This Version
TO50A Biosphere Substrata(11xFile, WAV, Album) Touch TO50A UK 2006
FLCP-1009 Biosphere Substrata(CD, Album) Paradise Island FLCP-1009 Japan 1997 Sell This Version
BIO28CD Biosphere Substrata(CD, Album, RE + CD, Album, RE) Biophon Records BIO28CD Norway 2017 Sell This Version

Recommendations

Reviews Show All 11 Reviews

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Moanerman

Moanerman

August 30, 2007
edited over 9 years ago

Substrata by Biosphere is one of the all-time classic ambient albums, if not THE all-time classic album. Chilling atmospheric tones with ambient samples of ice, snow, forests, Twin Peaks-samples and Russian radio broadcasts… Substrata is difficult to describe in words alone. This is one album that every ambient fan needs to hear, if not own. For my own part the album is never far from my stereo. From the initial drone of an aircraft high overhead to the rambling monologues of later tracks every minute sends a chill down your spine.

Biosphere’s work is often described as “dark ambient” but to me this sounds to negative as every piece of music Geir Jenssen composed expresses so much different feelings and his albums are not simply a couple of “drones” thrown together. Neither is Substrata
Substrata is inhabited by the vast spaces spreading across the artic region, endless nights and midnight sun, sub-zero temperatures and northern lights. This is a 60 minutes long masterpiece that takes you on the most unique trip you’ll ever have experienced.

Never a record had been so intimate with nature, so close to the sounds, colours and smells of its environment. Jenssen emphasises the intensity of these elements by bringing them into his beat-less compositions, allowing them to take control of this new organic world. From time to time, more urban sounds come into the spectrum, when voice samples – from Twin Peaks f.e.- telling abstract stories (remember the vision of Dale Cooper?), or a melancholic guitar offering support to an unlikely song emerge, but always, these components get swallowed in by the magma-like ambience. The listener becomes a helpless witness of the beauty and cruelty of this CD. Perhaps the most essential ambient album of all times…
Adol

Adol

August 26, 2007
edited over 9 years ago
Today is Aug26 2007. I am listening to this Cd at work. It has brought me peace and great joy as it has done now for 10 years.
I am still brought very nearly to tears by some of the soundscapes in this collection. Substrata is so incredibly beautiful that I sometimes feel that if mankind is ever to truly evolve, this cd will be required listening by all of us. How can it be possible that something so profoundly beautiful could have ever been created by human beings? it sems impossible but it is true.
As I sit and watch the leaves play in the wind on the tree across the road I realize that the music is connected to everything at once. Substrata is so completely perfect that even the random chaotic nature of wind through leaves syncs up with every moment of this cd. I realize to that i am part of the cycle of life that created this recording and this tree and i feel both over come with immense joy and at the same time great saddness.
To me, this is the true triumph of mankind. That One man could make this happen for me here, today, at work.
I love this cd and nothing will ever change that.
dubdotcom

dubdotcom

December 7, 2006
edited over 10 years ago
Thanks for the translation - I have always wondered and its refreshing to know he wasn't reading the ingredients from a tube of toothpaste.

That aside, this is an outstanding "ambient" album, for want of a better "genre" word. It engages from start to finish. "Kobresia" is possibly one of the few "instant classic" ambient tracks I've ever heard. The very first time you hear it - you know there's something fundamentally universal and connecting in it - that you could turn to a stranger and know you both recognize the same. Wonderful music from up north. I think that Geirs use of acoustic guitar as heard again on "Dropsonde", over sampled loop, synth pads and general whitenoisey sounds combined with an impeccable sense of timing creates a rather unique soundscape.
intoambience

intoambience

April 22, 2006
edited over 11 years ago
For those who are wandering about what is said on 'Kobresia' track, here is the approximate translation from Russian:
"This is either a metal, or... if it is a metal, then it's painted... cold surface... This is either a metal, painted, or could be a plastic... Colorful, there are... Bright... Seems like... is this a toy, probably? The surface is smooth, but... there are some bumps on it... Even the finger stucks in it... Probably it is... some marks, or is this a letters?... Or just a bumps... Looks like a toy... Colorful metal, or a plastic, painted as a metal... That's all.. Stop."
The sampled text above came from a documental recordings about russian telepathic Karl Nikolaev, who's sitting in a room, trying to guess, which item is lying on a table, which is situated in a room two stages above him. This sample is taken by Geir from a Moscow radio broadcast translation.
downtown.music

downtown.music

March 24, 2006
edited over 11 years ago

One of those amazing, "takes you way, way, WAY out there in a journey into inner and outer space" kind of recordings. Full of textures, ambient washes, gorgeous little riffs and snatches of melody, deep synthethic/orchestral washes, lots of found sounds and snatches of dialogue (radio broadcasts, thick-accented russian guy talking about who-knows-what...but his voice and emotion come right through, bypassing the language barrier...someone else who sounds like Captain Kirk, the sound of boots hiking through fresh snow, birds chirping, and other mysterious and/or commonplace sound bytes). This is one of those recordings that totally stands the test of time and of repeated listenings. I've been enjoying this ever since it came out almost 8 years ago, and it still sounds more hauntingly beautiful than ever.
deeply

deeply

March 17, 2006
edited over 11 years ago
Harmony is when you see that there is something happening in the outer world which exatly reflects things inside of your mind.

When you see it, you understand that everything is....

...the one, there are absolutely no boundaries between whatever you can call yourself and the whole world...

...the intellect among the whole universe having one aim - to be.

For me this album is more than anyone could think trying to categorise this to some electronic genre or finding associations with some polar landscapes and cold atmospheres.

This is the reflection of life through the words of sound. Yes, of whole life which is not possible without the perceiveing beings.

I wouldnt tell which is my best track here. Life is not about good or bad, not about anything personal afterall. It wants you to catch the deepest truth. As only when some true knowledge appears in your head, the subject of it becomes alive.

But the best track, which reflects life here is "Kobresia" of course. You can deeply understand while listeting to it, that everything surrounding our perception is just a different states of water producing numerous vibrations which we can call sounds, voices, tastes, touches. It also shows you that every understading and perception is multidimentional. You can not only listen to the words of a human, but contrary to the sound and voices with beatiful vibrations his mouth produces.

Only when something becomes a true knowledge for a brain of a perceiving being, it becomes alive.

Please, read also another review on this page which refers to "The things I tell you" track. When I have read it, I felt that it would be a harmony if I will make my own.

And guess which track started to play in my mp3 player with rnd mode, right after I started to write this? Sure "The things I tell you".

Harmony... B-I
kingwiltsu

kingwiltsu

September 22, 2005
edited over 11 years ago

I have my favourite ambient albums that I to listen, when I wake up and I have albums that I listen to before I go to sleep and this is one of them. All the sounds just guarantee a good sleep. It relaxes my mind and falling asleep becomes easy.
This album is also beautifully made as a whole and that is always a good thing, since it's good to know you have to listen to the whole album to really get it. It's not just a bunch of tracks thrown together.
This is good for meditating also, since I really need music for the background, because I never can get all thoughts out of my head.
arch_carrier

arch_carrier

August 14, 2005
edited over 11 years ago

Surely a wonderful album, especially when listened as a whole. For me the best part is "Hyperborea" and "Kobresia" with the spoken stuff - first in English, then in Russian. Gives me thrills when listened on a walkman in a dark room. Maybe the best of Biosphere.
adriancolemanjr

adriancolemanjr

November 30, 2004
edited over 12 years ago

Trully oustanding record, essential for anybody interested in ambient music. In some period of time I used to listen to 'Substrata' 4 times per day and every time I couldn't believe what I've heard. There's something so unusual in those sounds and compositions that I even don't know how to describe in words. Strange and beautiful, cold and perfect, must-have ambient masterpiece! One of the best records I've ever heard in my entire life.
fancydress

fancydress

April 22, 2003
Actually, this line is from David Lynch's Twin Peaks series - when Giant wakes up agent Cooper to give him any more clues. When I heard that phrase, I was just chilled!