Veteran Norwegian ambient composer Biosphere, aka Geir Jenssen, has reissued his second album Patashnik on his own Biophon label.
Originally released in 1994 by Norway’s Origo Sound and the R&S-affiliated Apollo, the ambient classic has been re-released with new artwork and a bonus disc made up of 12 tracks recorded between 1992 and 1994, which were released digitally in 2014 as Patashnik 2.
The album was number 1 in NME´s Independent Chart in March 1994 and reached number 50 in the UK official album chart.The track Novelty Waves was used in Michel Gondry’s Levi’s 501 Jeans Drugstore spot, and holds – according to the Guinness World Records 2004, the record for Most awards won by a TV commercial.
One reason why Jenssen’s work stands out from the flood of early ’90s ambient/techno releases is his strong sense of the quirkily creepy — not in an Aphex Twin mode, but in his own particular way. The contrasting samples of a child quaveringly saying, We had a dream last night, followed by a rougher sample saying, We had the same dream, gives opening number Phantasm an unsettling feeling. Intensified by the, on the one hand, pretty, on the other, disturbing music, buried synth strings and a soft pulse accentuated by clattering noises deep in the mix, it kicks off the striking Patashnik very well. Though not as openly dark as acts like Lull, for instance, Biosphere still has an edge which isn’t just melancholic, it’s downright ominous at point.