I am not the biggest fan of ambient music--it often gets too drowsy for me--but Geir Jenssen's Biosphere-project is a must. It's also one of only a few of such bands from the early 90s I keep returning to, even though, at the time, bands like the Orb and even KLF seemed much more lasting.
"Microgravity" is the first Biosphere CD and it's awesome. The blend between atmospherics and beat is perfect in just about every single track. "Baby Satellite" is danceable and dreamy, and even tracks without much of a beat, like the opening title track, have a movement to them that few other artists can emulate.
Most outstanding is "The Fairy Tale." The opening sample--where does this come from? A radio-voice describing a square full of burning tourists: "Look at them out there, all those little figures dissolving in light. Rather like fairyland, isn't it--except for the smell of gasoline and burning flesh." Chilling! And the song is great, wonderful beat, minimalist melody, beautiful ending.
I had the pleasure to see him perform in a club in Amsterdam, the year after the album came out, and with the help of a programmer/keyboard player he put together a great show. I had never seen such an act live before and was quite sceptical, but he quickly made me change my mind and really delivered. These are not just dance beats: they are songs.
Jenssen delivered a masterpiece with this album, one that I'm afraid he couldn't top with the sequel, "Patashnik." This is the ideal music for kicking back and doing some serious thinking, or flying, or biking, or writing--and that pretty much covers my life.