Review : Biosphere - Wireless - Live at The Arnolfini, Bristol
DustedmagazineGive Geir Jenssen credit for not staying still. Ever since the Norwegian electronicist made the financially dubious decision to drop out of Bel Canto 20 years ago and began following the path that led him to perform under the name Biosphere, he’s let his music develop at its own rate and done fundamentally what he wanted to do. While this hardly seems like a recipe for success given the short half-life of electronic music trends, it has paradoxically contributed to his longevity; by not playing the game of keeping up with the latest beats, he invites fans to instead keep up with him.
But he might be asking a bit too much of them with Wireless. Not that it’s a terribly demanding listen; quite the contrary, it’s a quintessential live album. Recorded in October 2007 and released 19 months later, it samples a decade of Biosphere music in typical greatest hits fashion. Its 11 tracks take you through Jenssen’s various stages – chill-out facilitator, textural sculptor, sonic appropriator, and atmospheric tunesmith. And it represents each phase with Touch Music’s usually scrupulous attention to audio and visual satisfaction; one labelmate, environmental sound documenter Chris Watson recorded the concert, and another, BJ Nilsen (a.k.a. Hazard), mastered it....full text
NormanrecordsUsing a track or two off all his previous Touch Music label albums except Antour de la Lune, Geir Jenssen opens and closes set with new material - Pneuma. In doing so he crosses a threshold unprecedented nor heard in his music before. Label mates Chris Watson assist with the live recording and B J Nilsen ably handles mixing and mastering. This is not a mishmash of "best of" but a calculated and strategical vault into the other reaches. One step beyond for all mankind proves to be a work of beauty and awe....full text
BoomkatThe very first live album by that giant of ambient music Geir Jenssen, Wireless was recorded in Bristol's Arnolfini during the Touch 25 live event of 2007. Jenssen's set takes the form of a single hour-long continuous stream, indexed into eleven tracks. Wireless incorporates fresh material alongside retakes on a variety of sounds that'll already carry some familiarity with followers of Biosphere studio albums: early on we're treated to some of the exquisite Debussy sampling of Shenzou, and later on excerpts from Dropsonde and the classic Substrata crop up. Although culled from very different eras in electronic music, you never get the sense that lining up recent works next to nineties emissions presents any sort of technological anachronism, and Jenssen does a great job of imposing a new slant on his catalogue by weaving these pieces into a single, unfolding narrative. In this context the full breadth of Biosphere's sonic palette is something to savour, taking in clipped orchestral movements, jazz-flecked technoid minimalism, abstract oceanic ambience, processed trombone passages, and on the absolutely ravishing 'Calais Ferryport' a cinematic concrete composition of the very highest order. Further to that, if for any reason you find yourself pondering the sound quality of this live album, you can most certainly rest assured that this is just about as refined a production as you could ever hope for: Chris Watson handled recording duties while BJ Nilsen undertook the mastering. You'd be extremely hard-pressed to find a better sounding live document anywhere. A massive recommendation....full text
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