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Substrata 2

Biosphere Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Sep 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Circul8tion
  • ASIN: B00008BXFD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 902,036 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning double CD release 1 Jun 2002
Format:Audio CD
Containing 2 discs, one being the original 'Substrata' album re-released and the other being a soundtrack composed by Geir Jennsen for a Russian silent movie of 1929.
What else can be said of 'Substrata' than it's the best album in the field of ambient music. For me it surpasses the best of Eno and others. From its opening chimes of arctic winds, it leads the listener on a beatless, ambient journey through soundscapes of wind, tinkering electronics and distant, almost medieval, noises. If you don't have it, get it now while you can, particularly when you get another new Biosphere CD with it.
The second CD has much the same feel. But although ambient, it ditches the arctic landscape in favour of an urban one and there are more industrial hisses and textures to certain tracks. The final two tracks, taken from the Japanese version of 'Substrata', sound like Biosphere circa the 'Microgravity' era and are probably the best tracks on the second CD.
If you like ambient music, or you want a relaxing record, or even if you're just interested in electronic music, get this record now, you won't be disappointed.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music to get lost in 13 Jun 2004
Format:Audio CD
This album is a grower, at first nothing comes out and grabs you, but after careful listens you come to appreciate the little things.
I bought it after hearing works such as Global Communication - 76:14 and wanted more like that - it isn't that similar, it is a lot more 'sound' based rather than music based. However Substrata the original CD takes you on a journey, you can imagine being in a cave, or sat at the north pole listening to this CD. Songs like 'Chukhung' use reverbed guitar loops to create atmosphere, others use lush strings (my fave, 'Kobresia'), while bleeps pile on the ambience in 'Hyperborea'.
Biosphere also uses vocals to great effect, on a lot of the tracks - they are just vocal snippets of people talking, but used just so to create the perfect atmosphere
Anyway - this CD is for those people who don't mind listening to a CD of drones and tones - that work really well. I'd recommend getting this for the arctic soudscapes it conjures up, and the 2nd CD is also good for a kind of barren, industrial, urban feel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply unrivalled 3 Feb 2009
Format:Audio CD
Next time you're feeling stressed and worn out, find a cosy room with somewhere comfortable to lie, turn out all the lights and sick a copy of this on. If you're not in some way moved by it, transformed by it, warmed by it, then I would seriously suggest you consult a psychiatrist. You are plunged into an icy, isolated landscape, perfect and untouched. You feel alone, but at the same time safe and free. Free to think, free to sit and view Mother Nature all around you - the frozen wasteland, the snow topped pines, the peaks that disappear into the perfect blue sky, the slowly melting lake, the dazzling sun on the frozen ground, the crackling of the fire.

And I consider it a comforting irony that the world of electronic music, so often criticised by outsiders for its lack of instrumental talent and the "heartlessness" that its use of modern electronic technology apparently brings, could create a record that is such a pure, emotional expression of the very antithesis of such modern technology - Mother Nature herself.

As far as I'm concerned, this isn't just the best ambient album ever, but THE best electronically produced album ever. This is as close to perfect as an album can get.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite CD 29 Sep 2005
Format:Audio CD
I have rather a lot of albums, many of them electronica. Nonetheless, should I be asked what my favourite album is, this is it. The first CD in particular is outstanding, with atmospheric synth lines, and samples which are used in order to create a convincing soundscape, rather than simply to fill a space in the track.
Since purchasing this album, I have also bought several other Biosphere CDs. This, though, has to be the most impressive. However, if you have enjoyed Substrata and want something similar, I can also recommend the collaberative works with Higer Intelligence Agency: Polar Sequences and Birmingham Frequencies.
I could tell you about each individual track on the CD, but that wouldn't do them justice. After all it is basically a collection of (well thought out) samples and synths. Give it a listen - you'll be impressed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambient bliss 4 April 2008
Format:Audio CD
I find with ambient music you have to listen a few times before you really feel at one with the album or single because it's all about intricate details and sounds that create the atmosphere and that is something I love about it, looking out for the smallest detail that can create the most vivid atmosphere.
As this album pack goes, it does the job and does it well, I have only listened to the first cd so far and only a few times so there are definitely a few more listens in need.
I find with Biosphere, it takes a different approach to ambient music, compared to the likes of stars of the lid and the infamous aphex twin.
The turns and winds of his atmospheres are compelling and take a different turn to your typical 'chillout ambient' however this doesn't mean the album lacks in simple ambient pleasure. Tracks 8, 7 and 11 for me are masterpieces in creating the most alarming emotion and feelings within the listener, especially 7.
Among this, I still feel slightly at a tangent with the album, it definitely still needs a few listens to sink in, I don't think I've heard it in it's best form as of yet, and I imagine it would sound much better in the latter stage. As in my experience and other reviews Biosphere does not dissapoint.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Something special
This was the first ambient album I ever bought, and I couldn't be more happy with my introduction. The cold, lonely and sometimes peaceful atmosphere within each track (which all... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, zen-like.
Both CDs are superb. Excellent production. Calming but never boring. The same futuristic feel of 'Patashnik', but less heavy. Read more
Published on 14 May 2011 by Max Clemens
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious geek with a sampler
Some of the most self-indulgent cr*p I've heard in a while. Maybe buy it if you genuinely, hand on heart, like Autechre.
Published on 19 July 2007 by icemeister
5.0 out of 5 stars Never get bored of listening to this!
Substrata is a truly wonderful album, best listened to as a whole as one track melts into another.

I have personally been using Substrata as a yoga "backdrop album" for... Read more
Published on 28 Nov 2006 by B. R. Souter
5.0 out of 5 stars blinding
haunting. mesmerising. buy it
Published on 6 Nov 2005 by Andrew Hodges
5.0 out of 5 stars TWIN PEAKS FANS, PAY ATTENTION!
This is a most sublime and disturbing album. The David Lynch nerds at the back may wish to know that it contains samples from Twin Peaks.
Published on 11 Jan 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece of Ambience..
This album is a true gem. If you do not own Substrata 1 then don't worry because this release of Substrata 2 comes with Substrata 1 which is brilliant value really. Read more
Published on 15 Jun 2001
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