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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 20 September 2012
more music for me to listen too while i read this takes me into the zone and if you like ambient and trippy stuff i'm sure you will like it too my only complaint is i wish the album was longer
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on 13 August 2013
This album has been my companion for over 13 years.

I have probably listened to it well over 500 times. I never get bored of it. That is the big difference between ambient and pop music, you can usually only listen to a pop song a few times before you get bored of it and the words start to annoy you. My wife will buy an album from the latest "Artist du jour", listen to it a few times and then never listens to it again.

If I can't sleep during the night, I will often put this on. If I was stuck on a desert island, this would always be my first choice.

Now, on to the music...

Initially I found Substrata a bit disappointing after Patashnik, but after treating it on its own merits, it grew on me. This is a good follow up to Substrata. I think it is better, because it has a warmer feel to it and there is more melody and a couple of songs with a beat. It is more of a musical soundscape and has interesting samples playing. In Le Grand Dome, there is a French man talking about the sun and sunsets.

Stand out songs for me are Nook & Cranny, Iberia Eterea and Algae and Fungi Pt. 1.

If you haven't bought it and you love ambient music, you must buy it now!
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on 26 May 2017
Excellent album, this has been on my wish list for a while and with the reissue.. even better!
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on 11 August 2000
Geir Jenssen's career started with fellow Norwegian band Bel Canto. But soon, it appeared that Geir was to explore other grounds, and he left to release his first solo album under the name Bleep. And then, it was Biosphere. A name he would appropriate to make people dance. The high point of his commercial success came in the shape of the ubiquitous Novelty Waves, taken from his second album as Biosphere, Patashnik, and most famous for being the soundtrack of a Levi's advert. But this sudden exposure didn't suit the man. He moved back to his native Tromso, reflected on his fame, and decided it was time to move on. And he did. The next proper Biosphere album would take three years to come out. And Substrata was the antithesis of Patashnik. It was an album of intense atmospheres, of long cold nights and hazy days, using pure sounds, unusual samples and no beats at all. Cirque is different. It is not a rebellious album, more of a reflective work. Organic sounds, pieces of conversations put together and, on some tracks, drums, cohabit in the most harmonious manner. It is almost an extension of his work with Higher Intelligence Agency, or a continuation more like. Cirque is to perfection what Champagne is to alcohol: a must. There are certainly no other artists like Geir Jenssen. The transformation from pop to dance to art act has taken him over ten years, but he has accomplished the journey with pride and determination. Cirque is the result of it. Not the end of the road, more the beginning of something major.
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VINE VOICEon 1 June 2002
It's what you've come to expect from Biosphere. A beautifully packaged album with stunning photography, and oh yeah, a brilliant album full of gentle, ambient music.
'Cirque' shows a shift from its predecessor 'Substrata'. Rather than the arctic setting, 'Cirque' evokes a sense of the countryside and of a warmer, more moderate climate. I suppose title tracks like 'Ibiza' give it away really! But don't worry there's not a pounding 4/4 beat or cheesy trance rhythm in sight. This is Biosphere remember!
Starting off with the best track on the album in my opinion, 'Nook and Cranny' is just a great track to sit back and listen to. The rolling bass and undercurrents of electronic blips and beeps will take you far away. Elsewhere on the album, 'Don't follow' is another standout track.
But don't take my word for it, listen to it for yourself. If you're not one of those thousands of Biosphere fans, then you'd better ask yourself why!
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on 19 September 2003
Fantastic, but spooky : Im listening this album for every evening while sleeping, and many times happend strange thing : I woke up in the middle of the night "trippin" some very very dark sounds, and almost i felt someones present in the room, as i was allone in hole appartment. Very strange & trippy music, i think some times its so gruesome that im affraid of listening it, especialy while sleepin'...
It can realy influence your brain with many weird frequencies ...
almost hypnotic
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on 1 August 2002
Substrata is an ambient classic and a sheer masterpiece. Cirque follows on from it in a very similar vein and if you liked Substrata then you should definately listen to Cirque. I don't know if it is just my copy, but the equalisation on Cirque is 'strange' and the lo-mid frequencies are slightly muffled which I personally find spoils this beautiful ambient music - gone is the Arctic crispness of Substrata. Various attempts to find out from the artist and label whether this was a faulty copy or intentionally mastered like this proved unsuccessful. Interestingly, Biosphere released a re-mastered version of Substrata which I thought was already perfect. I actually prefer the original release of Substrata to the new re-mastered version. The differences are extremely subtle but to my ears it lost a certain something. I wish that they had and will re-master Cirque instead. In the end, I have re-mastered my own copy as I am forunate enought to be an audio engineer with all the right gadgets for doing this. Now to my ears - it's perfect!
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on 3 October 2007
Big rumbling sounds, odd warbling sounds, shimmering synths, mangled samples and no obvious melody/rhythm/harmony/direction etc. It's just like all the other ambient tracks you own but probably in the top 15% in terms of production. Not sure what more there is to say. I suspect the effect is more to do with what you are errmm consuming at the time as anything else.
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on 19 November 2000
I have heard much talk about how the dance music industry is getting better and better and this sums its progress up to a T. If you like dance music, even if you don't, this record is bound to impress. I stumbled across it a few weeks ago by chance, I must say it is quite a find for any music lover!
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