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CIRQUE

Biosphere

Progressive Electronic


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colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Following Substrata, a classic in the ambient electronic genre, Biosphere decided to combine his cold, floating ambient soundscapes with the minimal techno of his first two albums. Fortunately, the techno elements do not get overly repetitive as previously used but instead integrate naturally and create a soothing control point for the drifting ambience.

Cirque could maybe be seen as a continuation of Substrata; the atmosphere it gives off is cold and icy, it's aurally dense yet relaxing, and even the album art is somewhat similar. However, because of the buried techno beats, this album is a bit more energetic and is even more similar to Boards of Canada's classic works. This is still not dance music in the least -- beats may be present and energetic, but they're only energetic in a way as relaxing and cerebral as the effects of REM sleep. Because of the added energy in the music coupled with the icy synth textures, the atmosphere created by this album is similar to the arctic imagery created by Susbtrata except with waking wildlife and sped-up glacial time- lapsed scenery.

Whereas Substrata didn't work very well as individual tracks for the most part, Cirque has quite a few tracks that stand out well enough for individual listening. The two part epic "Algae & Fungi" is the progressive centerpiece of this album, moving from polar ambience to the raciest techno influence on the album to what I'd like to call "ambient breakbeat", and it is all a great adventure that is bound to keep even the interest of non- ambient music fans. "When I Leave" is my favorite, and is a Scuba-esque cinematic dubstep/UK house track complete with a hypnotizing vocal sample. "Iberia Eteria" is one of the more relaxed ambient songs on this album with a very vague jazz twist from distant clarinets, which starts out groggy like waking up on a snowy morning but eventually picks up pace.

Cirque shows the same ambient electronic talent of Biosphere's classic Substrata, but seems like an album that would appeal to people looking for something a bit more engaging and upbeat while still maintaining the arctic feel. It is my personal opinion that both albums work great together as a team and that both share the same high level of quality.

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Posted Sunday, February 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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