Biosphere - Microgravity 3xLP


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Label: Biophon

Our Review:

Biosphere's Microgravity was a watershed album for the burgeoning rave scene. In 1991, techno found itself splintering into the harder / faster sounds that took acid house towards gabber, and the evolution of more complex variants through the innovations of Aphex Twin and Autechre. And then there was the chill-out / ambient crowd. It has to be said, that this was always the most problematic, as the bulk of efforts from this end of the spectrum was substantively vapid in taking up the ideas of kosmische electronica and watering it all down with drool cups and pacifiers. All of this without the benefit of a rhythm to trick the body into thinking that there was something revolutionary going on with these futuristic sounds. Biosphere was one of the few phenomenal exceptions to the more banal forms of ambient-techno. Yes, the term is an oxymoron of a genre marker, but it stuck a long time ago. Geir Jenssen (aka Biosphere) cut his teeth in the late '80s in the ethereal-pop project Bel Canto, with Biosphere acquiring the dark sheen of Detroit techno from that time period. The rhythms which Jenssen programmed for Biosphere's debut Microgravity have a slinky groove that owes considerable gratitude to Juan Atkins' Cybotron and Model 500 recordings. The nocturnal, reverberant sprawl that became the signature of Biosphere's later recordings of drumless space was in its nascent phase, but he was clearly ahead of the curve; and Microgravity certainly holds its own decades later. As a side note, the first recordings that Jenssen produced as Biosphere were initially rejected by Nettwerk back at the time, only to attain considerable notoriety when R&S released those tracks along with all of Microgravity in 1992. This reissue contains a third album of unreleased material recorded back then.