Geir Jenssen

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Skapad den: 20 jan 2005
climber and mountaineer, mountain-ski lover, norwegian musician who has released a notable catalogue of electronic music.



Geir Jenssen was born 30.05.1962. Mostly famous as Biosphere. Under it name he doing "" and "" music. He use of music loops, and peculiar samples from sci-fi sources. His track "Novelty Waves" was used for the 1995 campaign of Levi's. His 1997 album Substrata was voted by the users of the Hyperreal website in 2001 as the best all time classic ambient albums and taking many awards and a lot of recognition further.

Prior to Biosphere (1962–1991)

Geir was born in 1962 in Tromsø, a city within the Arctic Circle in the northernmost portion of Norway.

He was initially inspired by the music of artists such as New Order, Depeche Mode, Wire, and Brian Eno, which he described as "like discovering a new universe—a universe which I wanted to be a part of". In 1983, he bought his first synthesizer and composed his first piece of music, taking influence from his archaeological studies, later stating "Studying the Ice Age and Stone Age has definitely influenced my music." In 1984 as E-Man he made his first album Likvider, released only on cassette .

In 1985, Jenssen was part of the newly-created Norwegian moody synth trio Bel Canto with Nils Johansen and singer Anneli Drecker. The band signed to Belgian label Crammed Discs and to Nettwerk in the United States, and relocated to Brussels. Jensen, however, soon returned to Tromso to continue his solo career and working with other team members at a distance. Bel Canto released two albums albums with Geir - White-Out Conditions and Birds of Passage. In 1990, he left the team to create a completely different style of music starting to use the sampler.

Throughout the 80's, Jenssen used the artist name Bleep, under which he produced various 12" records, now releasing records via the Crammed Discs subsidiary SSR. His early influences were from and New Beat music.

Released in 1990, The North Pole By Submarine was the only album recorded as Bleep. Then singles in 1990 and 1991 years before Jenssen left the Bleep name and took a distinct change in artistic direction.

As Biosphere (1991–present)

Following the release of The North Pole by Submarine, Jenssen chose a new musical direction and began releasing his music as Biosphere on obscure Norwegian compilation albums, marking a major stylistic change as well as avoiding any association with "bleep house" (as made popular in the early 1990s by the Sheffield UK-based Warp Records).

His first Biosphere releases were the 12-inch single "The Fairy Tale" and the album Microgravity, both of which were rejected by SSR as unmarketable. Microgravity was released in 1991 on the Norwegian label Origo Sound, and saw wider release via the R&S Records subsidiary Apollo in 1992, to much critical acclaim. In 1992, Jenssen contributed "I'll Strangle You" to Hector Zazou's Sahara Blue project.

In 1994, was relisted the second Biosphere album, Patashnik (allegedly Russian for "traveler" or "goner", but this word does not seem to actually exist). Through Patashnik, Jenssen continued to explore his ambient-house stylings to an even greater extent. Patashnik contained the first hints of the reduction in beat-driven song structure that would mark later Biosphere releases. Unlike the first album, Patashnik was quickly picked up by a comparatively large international audience, which brought Biosphere greater recognition. Jenssen also recorded as Cosmic Explorer, scoring a hit in Belgium with the EP The Hubble.

In 1995, Levi Strauss & Co. was searching for a new angle to add to their television advertisement campaign (which up to that point had never featured electronic music), and they decided to use the up-tempo track "Novelty Waves" from Patashnik. Shortly thereafter, "Novelty Waves" was released as a single (featuring remixes by various other artists), and managed to chart in several countries, reaching #51 in the United Kingdom. Although Jenssen never regretted his approval for use of the track, he also never sought this kind of fame and subsequently turned down various requests by his record company and peers to collaborate with well-known techno and drum 'n bass artists or to create a follow-up album in the same style. During that same year, Biosphere contributed the song "The Seal and the Hydrophone" exclusively to Apollo 2 – The Divine Compilation released by Apollo Records.

Released in 1997, Substrata is a purely atmospheric ambient Biosphere album, released on Brian Eno's All Saints Records. Substrata, which marked Jenssen's embarkation towards an intensely minimal style, is not only often considered to be Jenssen's best work to date, but is also seen as one of the all time classic ambient albums. Substrata contains notable samples from the American TV show Twin Peaks.

In 2000, Jenssen released Cirque on his new home Touch, an ambient album driven by muffled beats, samples, and minimal atmospherics. Though Cirque briefly revisited territory covered by earlier Biosphere releases, the rhythm section throughout the album remains an element of the background, unlike Jenssen's first two Biosphere releases, wherein the drums occupied a dominating proportion of the foreground.

In 2002, he released Shenzhou, the fifth full length album under the name Biosphere. This album was a more abstract work, comparable to Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. The material on the album draws from elongated, pitch-shifted loops taken from Debussy's La Mer (The Sea), and Jeux.

Released in 2004, Autour de la Lune stands as the most minimal and austere Biosphere album to date. The drones employed on this album are comparable to Coil's 1998 album Time Machines in their timbre and slow rate of change. The bulk of this work was originally commissioned and broadcast in September 2003 by Radio France Culture for a musical evocation of Jules Verne.

In 2006, Jenssen released Dropsonde, a half beatless, half rhythmic album composed of jazz rhythms evocative of Miles Davis' 1970s fusion works. A partial vinyl sampler was released a few months earlier in 2005.

In 2009, Biosphere issued Wireless: Live at the Arnolfini, Bristol, his first live album, containing new tracks such as "Pneuma" and "Pneuma II".

Jenssen has scored a number of films, including Eternal Stars (1993) and Insomnia (1997). He collaborated with German ambient composer Pete Namlook on Fires of Ork, and has also worked with Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart and with Bobby Bird of Higher Intelligence Agency. In 2010, two soundtracks were announced on Biosphere's website, for German film "Im Schatten" and Norwegian "NOKAS".

On 27 June 2011, Geir Jenssen released the album N-Plants, inspired by the Japanese post-war economic miracle. The album theme is related to nuclear plants in Japan.
16 Jun 2012 was released L'Incoronazione Di Poppea, commissioned by Ingun Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt. The music is based on Claudio Monteverdi's opera of the same name.

Now Geir working in collaborate with UK dark ambient producer Lustmord. Their project Trinity explores, in sound and visuals (by MFO), the first tests of nuclear weapons in the New Mexico desert. Lustmord and Biosphere travelled to the White Sands Missile Range and Los Alamos to research and make field recordings at the start of 2012 and then presented the project's world premiere at Unsound Festival New York this past April. Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote: "Lustmord and Biosphere are kindred spirits, masters of ominous ambience: enveloping, murky, ultra-slow-motion music. 'Trinity' filled the room with tectonic rumbles and gradual whooshes, with tolling crashes followed by silences, with air-raid sirens, with claustrophobically thick cluster chords that were sometimes electronic and sometimes orchestral…" Krakow is a fitting location for the European premiere of TRINITY, considering it was Unsound that coaxed Lustmord into performing his second-ever show in three decades in 2010, and it was here Biosphere and Lustmord first met.

Geir as a climber and mountaineer.

Jenssen is an active climber and mountaineer. In 2006 he released field recordings album, material for which was compiled during one of his journeys when he got to one of the tibetan mountains peaks elevation of 8201m - Cho Oyu. Album was called Cho Oyu 8201m – Field Recordings From Tibet and released at UK label Ash International as a CD. Detailed report about extremely interesting journey with photo at official site.
For years of researches Geir created guide of climbing and mountain exploration in the area around Tromsø called as The Northern Playground. They are available here. This guide is constantly updated and supplemented.









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