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Biosphere - Departed Glories


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Format: 2LP, CD
Release Date: 23 Sept, 2016
Preorder: Vinyl and CD
Tracklisting
01. Out Of The Cradle
02. Well And Purpose
03. Down On Ropes
04. Free From The Bondage You Are In
05. With Their Paddles In A Puddle
06. Than Is The Mater
07. Sweet Dreams Form A Shade
08. Aura In The Kitchen With The Candlesticks
09. Departed Glories
10. Whole Forests Of Them Appearing
11. Invariable Cowhandler
12. Behind The Stove
13. You Want To See It Too
14. In Good Case And Rest
15. Tomorrow Then We Will Attend
16. With Precious Benefits To Both
17. Fall Asleep For Me
Promo Text
It’s easy to forget that Norway shares a short stretch of frontier with Russia, right at the northernmost tip of the country. That region is where Geir Jenssen, the Norwegian electronic producer behind Biosphere, comes from, and where he has been composing his austere, disturbing and deeply textured ambience since the early 1980s.
Biosphere has released many albums to date including Substrata, voted the greatest ambient album of all time on the Hyperreal website, and has collaborated with Arne Nordheim, Higher Intelligence Agency, Deathprod, Pete Namlook and Bel Canto.
His 12th album Departed Glories is his first in almost five years and marks a new deal with the Oslo independent label Smalltown Supersound. On the cover is a photo of the Russian landscape taken more than a hundred years ago. It’s part of an incredible cache of recently discovered images by the photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, who pioneered a form of colour photography using three sheets of glass, and left us with a collection of hauntingly beautiful pictures of a vanished world that could have been taken on an iPhone.
These are one of the inspirations for Jenssen’s latest project, which he began working on this project around five years ago, while he was based temporarily in Krakow, Poland. Living near the Wolski forest, his daily walk took him past sites – beautiful and at the same time terrible – where Poles had been executed during the second world war. After researching the area he discovered that a Polish medieval queen Bronislawa, had hidden among the trees with some nuns in the 13th century to escape the invading Tartar hordes, and that a monument to her memory had been built and then destroyed by invading Austrians in the 19th.
It made him speculate about what kind of music someone like Bronislawa might have heard while trembling among the trees? Not real music, surely, but something the fears in the mind might conjure up. He went in search of local folk music, from Poland and Ukraine, and began to work with that material to transform it into something reflecting psychological trauma.
Around the same time he stumbled on Prokudin-Gorsky’s photographs and was immediately struck by the way they brought history, with its long departed souls, a little bit nearer. One image in particular, of an Armenian woman in a forest in what is now Turkey, especially got under his skin. ‘The crystal clear yet haunting atmosphere fascinated me,’ he says.
All of these inspirational elements came together to provide the necessary propulsion to make Departed Glories, an album that sets the back of the neck hairs quivering in just the same way. It’s almost entirely constructed from hundreds of snippets of Eastern European And Russian folk music recordings, melted together to transform them into 17 unsettling and occasionally blindingly radiant beatless tracks. Each sample fragment is like a sliver of glass plate, and like the photos, it has left a music that is radiant, ghostly and unforgettable.
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The track really reminds me of the much overlooked album by Sebastiane Escofet called 'Meditaciones'. The kind fellow has put the whole album up for download for free here - http://www.sebastianescofet.com/english/albums/meditaciones/

 

Cool! Will check this out .To me, the track sounds like some of the more recent output of Zoviet France. I quite like it, but I wonder if Geir will ever be able to reach Substrata / Shenzou level heights again. The concept behind the album has def caught my interest though.

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100 clear vinyl available exclusively from Bleep for preorder: http://link.bleep.com/Biosphere-Departed-Glories

 

 

We are really excited to announce that we have an exclusive clear vinyl pressing of Biosphere's forthcoming album Departed Glories, it's limited to 100, so pre-order now!

Widely regarded as one of the chief ambient producers the world has ever seen, Biosphere follows up his Deathprod collab with new LP Departed Glories on his home country Norway's Smalltown Supersound imprint.
Having emerged onto the post-rave/club scene in the early 90s with a string of mind-blowing records that really took the album format and extended the journey from two sides of vinyl to whole evenings lost in the hypnotic sounds he produced. Biosphere was instantly propelled to the ranks of fellow club constructionists such as Aphex Twin, Global Communication and The Black Dog for his mysteriously alluring presence and sound. Biosphere's early records were the kind that when played in the early hours post party could move entire rooms of people into the motion of a zoned out trance-like sedated flow that mirrored the music drifting out of the speakers. Fast forward to 2016 and he's marked a return to this classic sound with the glacial Departed Glories.
Five years in the making, the album's core influence stems from the recently discovered work of Russian photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky. A pioneer of colour photography who worked using sheets of glass to project images such as the one of the landscape that adorns the cover (an amazing image considering its over 100 years old). The photos Biosphere discovered in Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky's archive provided a huge influence on the way he produced Departed Glories, as he quotes "the crystal clear yet haunting atmosphere fascinated me". There is a real strong feel of the otherworldly within the grooves and it convulses a strangely out of time feeling, that extends through the albums seventeen tracks. In terms of scale and sheer innovation, we'd say its best compared to SAW2. But, where Richard D. James described that album as "like standing in a power station on acid" Departed Glories is the trip through the woods after leaving, head still spun and a glazed shimmer over the senses and everything else around.
Ghosted vocals drift throw vast walls of reverb drenched sound that prove near impossible to pinpoint the sound sources each track is composed of, with each piece slowly unfurling before melting into the next and making for a 'journey' in the truest sense of the word, one that upon arriving at the final destination, the room around can be a very different place (or its about 8 hours later and you have had it on repeat) Having produced countless records since the "greatest ambient album of all time" (according to the Hyperreal website) Substrata, Departed Glories is the true long awaited follow up and will reign tall as one of the crowning jewels in his discography.

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managed to grab one yesterday. must have gotten one of the last ones because i checked it into my basket on my phone, went to buy it on my PC and the option to buy was greyed out but still had it in my basket on my phone.

 

amusingly i've just *now* got an email from bleep promoting the limited vinyl... ~21-22 hours after they were all sold out.

 

edit: pfft, oh wait, it's a new limited *white* vinyl (versus the clear yesterday... pretty sure white wasn't there then). not that i care but that's a bit sneaky for those who thought they were getting a genuine one-run limited vinyl. what's next, limited red vinyl? blue? :P

Edited by xf
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edit: pfft, oh wait, it's a new limited *white* vinyl (versus the clear yesterday... pretty sure white wasn't there then). not that i care but that's a bit sneaky for those who thought they were getting a genuine one-run limited vinyl. what's next, limited red vinyl? blue? :P

Seem to remember there being similar shenanigans with the 'limited edition' Blade Runner 12'' releases
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edit: pfft, oh wait, it's a new limited *white* vinyl (versus the clear yesterday... pretty sure white wasn't there then). not that i care but that's a bit sneaky for those who thought they were getting a genuine one-run limited vinyl. what's next, limited red vinyl? blue? :P

Seem to remember there being similar shenanigans with the 'limited edition' Blade Runner 12'' releases

 

 

Yeah there defo wasn't any mention of a follow up limited white vinyl run yesterday.

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Ohhh wow a new album, amazing. I hope it isn't a slap in the face like L'Incoronazione Di Poppea, the sample is nice and warm. I love those vocal samples. I may be exited for this...

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ahhhh i remember when *I* learned about prokudin gorsky..

 

 

anyway biosphere hasn't really released anything incredible since autour de la lune, always too many throwaway tracks.. and even 1 of those on autour was a sigur ros song he just sent through a ring modulator lol

 

n-plants was pretty lame imo but I WILL STILL LISTEN TO THIS

 

(and then think about how amazing shenzhou is)

Edited by dr lopez
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ahhhh i remember when *I* learned about prokudin gorsky..

 

 

anyway biosphere hasn't really released anything incredible since autour de la lune, always too many throwaway tracks.. and even 1 of those on autour was a sigur ros song he just sent through a ring modulator lol

 

n-plants was pretty lame imo but I WILL STILL LISTEN TO THIS

 

(and then think about how amazing shenzhou is)

 

I definitely love some of the Artificial Intelligence / Ambient House vibes from N-Plants (eg. Joyo, Genkai, Oi, Fujiko). But the output between 1997 - 2004 was Geir at his creative peak. I recently gave Substrata a test drive on psychedelics and it was perfect for the peak. Which reminds me, does anyone know what instrument he's sampled on Sphere of No-Form around 1:15 seconds in? It sounds like a massive horn.

 

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 does anyone know what instrument he's sampled on Sphere of No-Form around 1:15 seconds in? It sounds like a massive horn.

 

 

 

 

tibetan longhorn or dungchen

 

 

 

Awesome thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

Substrata is still in my top favourite albums of all time but yeah the guy hasn't put anything noteworthy out since Shenzhou/Autour de la lune. Dropsonde sounded like a mess and he hasnt really kept up. Unedited, looping field samples can only get a man so far.

 

Will give try and give the new one at least one listen.

Edited by Entorwellian
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 does anyone know what instrument he's sampled on Sphere of No-Form around 1:15 seconds in? It sounds like a massive horn.

 

 

 

 

tibetan longhorn or dungchen

 

 

 

 

Awesome thanks!

 

 

Awesome, my favorite Biosphere track. Coolest sound ever

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