Jump to content

Biosphere - Substrata (Alternative Versions)


 Share

Recommended Posts

Substrata was the third studio album by the Norwegian electronic artist Biosphere, released 25 years ago by All Saints Records in London.
In 2016, Pitchfork ranked it at number 38 on its list of the 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time.
Here are ten alternative versions picked from the Substrata recordings sessions that took place between 1995 and 1996.

https://biosphere.bandcamp.com/album/substrata-alternative-versions

 

a0210761351_10.jpg

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Goiter Sanchez said:

It doesn't seem clear whether these alt versions were from the original sessions or made more recently. Curious regardless.

"Here are ten alternative versions picked from the Substrata recordings sessions that took place between 1995 and 1996."

Looks like it's from the era it was actually recorded.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

At worst, this will be an interesting curio. At best it'll be a real insight and an enjoyable alternate version. Either way, Gier always gets my £££ so definitely buying it.

That said, where is Autour de la Lune reissue? He skipped from Shenzhou to Dropsonde. I want my 2CD Autour. I've been putting off re-buying the CD for years because I know one is coming at some point. I'll take a 2CD N-Plants while you're at it, Gier.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely my favourite Biosphere album (and the first thing I heard by him with Sphere of No Form being on a Future Music CD back in the day) so very much intrigued as to exactly *what* this release entails given the same track names as the original

On 8/29/2022 at 2:36 PM, purlieu said:

That said, where is Autour de la Lune reissue? He skipped from Shenzhou to Dropsonde. I want my 2CD Autour.

Would love to get a re-release of that too - My CD rip was done at 160kbps over 15 years ago, and the super-sub-bass frequencies really are not an mp3 codec's friend !

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Now available - https://biosphere.bandcamp.com/album/substrata-alternative-versions

Admittedly only skimmed through the previews, they very much seem to be [very] slight variations of the original - Like someone pressed a '5% random' button on the original project settings 😄 

Kinda reminds me of the mod Doom But Something's Not Right:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is pretty interesting, but yeah, I'd say it's for diehards of Substrata only.  Some of the tracks get a bit of jazzy hi-hats, but these are just different mixes of the same tracks.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of them are definitely just slightly more stripped down mixes, but others are quite different, especially those with drum loops. I think there's enough for an EP of notable versions, although I don't blame him for filling it out to do the whole album. I'd struggle to justify paying for a 2LP edition, but it'll definitely get some listens from me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, purlieu said:

Some of them are definitely just slightly more stripped down mixes, but others are quite different, especially those with drum loops. I think there's enough for an EP of notable versions, although I don't blame him for filling it out to do the whole album. I'd struggle to justify paying for a 2LP edition, but it'll definitely get some listens from me.

Aye definitely gonna buy it all the same (a digital copy anyway) - Substrata my favourite of his releases and one of my favourite albums in general

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/29/2022 at 3:36 PM, purlieu said:

At worst, this will be an interesting curio. At best it'll be a real insight and an enjoyable alternate version. Either way, Gier always gets my £££ so definitely buying it.

That said, where is Autour de la Lune reissue? He skipped from Shenzhou to Dropsonde. I want my 2CD Autour. I've been putting off re-buying the CD for years because I know one is coming at some point. I'll take a 2CD N-Plants while you're at it, Gier.

Geir 😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are alternative takes from the studio sessions. From Bandcamp

Quote

Here are ten alternative versions picked from the Substrata recordings sessions that took place between 1995 and 1996.

So, how I figure out is that Geir played a series of live controlled takes in the studio and then some were picked for the album, and these alternative versions are just alternative takes on the same tracks from the same studio sessions. I think this was a pretty common strategy back in the 90s before sequencing the whole track in a DAW became the norm? Like The KLF's Chill Out in which case the whole album was recorded multiple times live and then the best version was picked.

Anyway, for a person like me who has heard the original Substrata about a million times, this is a pretty interesting release. I like some of these versions better than the original release and some original versions better.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

After a few listens, I'm actually really enjoying this. The main change is that it seems less obviously 'ambient' in the sense of droney synth pads. There are more overt melodies on some tracks, but the biggest change is the much heavier use of the jazz loops. It feels a much closer cousin to Cirque and Dropsonde as a result. I was worried that it would be really subtle differences (this synth is a bit louder, this field recording is a bit quieter), and that's true for three or four of the tracks, but some of these have a really different feel to them. Lovely stuff.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.