Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Progressive Electronic

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Biosphere Dropsonde album cover
3.68 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

Tracks on 2005 LP:
1. Birds Fly by Flapping Their Wings (6:24)
2. Fall In, Fall Out (7:13)
3. Daphnis 26 (6:44)
4. Altostratus (5:11)
5. Sherbrooke (5:41)
6*. In the Shape of a Flute (6:17)

Total Time 37:30

Tracks on 2006 CD:
1*. Dissolving Clouds (4:28)
2. Birds Fly by Flapping Their Wings (6:35)
3*. Warmed by the Drift (6:50)
4*. In Triple Time (5:50)
5*. From a Solid to a Liquid (5:19)
6*. Arafura (5:10)
7. Fall In, Fall Out (7:10)
8. Daphnis 26 (6:45)
9. Altostratus (5:11)
10. Sherbrooke (5:55)
11*. People Are Friends (10:39)

Total Time 69:52

* - missing on CD edition
** - missing on LP

Line-up / Musicians

- Geir Jenssen / rich electronics, sounds, samples, drums effects, loops, composition, producer

- Denis Blackham / mastering

Releases information

LP Touch TO:66 (2005)

CD Beatservice BS083 (2006), different cover, 11 tracks

Thanks to Ricochet for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy BIOSPHERE Dropsonde Music

BIOSPHERE Dropsonde ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BIOSPHERE Dropsonde reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
4 stars I'm glad to see Biosphere here on the archives. Geir Jenssen has put out a consistent stream of great ambient records, from his earlier techo influenced stuff to a softer, pure ambient later style. His stuff is usually glacial and frosty in mood, as you'd expect from a guy who lives in northern Norway. This latest album, however, as the cover would indicate, offers a warmer sound. Jenssen has dropped his earlier habit of using lots of vocal samples of disjointed conversations in the background, which suits me, since I didn't really enjoy that. This is a CD of moody instrumentals, often beatless, although a couple of tracks feature some nice jazzy drumloops. It's hard to select highlights from an album of perfectly relaxing atmospheres, but suffice it to say that this guy's only getting better as he goes along. Fans of Eno and Fripp's Equatorial Stars and Fripp's soundscapes will enjoy this album immensely. Biosphere is at the top of the ambient heap with Robert Rich and Steve Roach, in my book. An excellent purchase.
Review by colorofmoney91
4 stars From the polar caps to the equator.

Whereas Substrata, Cirque, and even some of Autour De La Lune had the trademark arctic sound that Biosphere has been known for, Dropsonde remarkably warms up the atmosphere to about room-temperature. Instead of open drones and cold synth lines that recall the vast openness of the arctic, here we have heated crackling and warm light radiating pulses similar to the sun's rays.

As if that weren't a change significant enough, there is also a light jazz influence present in the percussion on some of the tracks, that starts off with the second track, "Birds Fly By Flapping Their Wings", driven by hard-bop rhythm that relies heavily on the hi-hat while a repetitive bass line a la electric-era Miles Davis thumps away atop warm solar synth ambience. The exact same style is used on the following tracks "In Triple Time" and "Fall In, Fall Out" with small alterations that keep the album from seeming monotonous. Something else worth mentioning is the tonality used on "In Triple Time" and "Arafura" is very Pink Floydian, reminding me a lot of the beautiful acoustic chord progression that opens "Dogs".

Adding on to the changes in Biosphere's sound on this album, Dropsonde also includes a little urban instrumental hip-hop sound. "Daphnis 26" has certain elements such as a steady mid-tempo beat that sounds almost like boom-bap or like a considerably toned-down Flying Lotus while still maintaining a clear intention of being ambient.

Regardless of the alterations in Biosphere's sound on this album, it's still ambient and relaxing just as all of his classic albums are. To me, the light jazz and hip-hop percussion are indications that Biosphere wanted to evolve past his roots in both acid techno and ambient techno and experiment with sounds that he felt would work well with the much warmer textures used on his new electronic soundscapes. Considering this is his first try with such experimentation, it seems that he's pulled it off quite well and hopefully he will continue to explore different sounds and influences.

Biosphere has proven himself to be rather versatile in a genre of electronic music that initially seemed to be doomed by monotony, and continues to do so with Dropsonde. So, for ambient fans who want another great progressive electronic ambient release that isn't simply a rehash of the classics, this is a great choice.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A richly varied and diverse collection of modern computer-realized ambient ideas from Norwegian Geir Jenssen.

Tracks on 2006 CD: 1**. "Dissolving Clouds" (4:28) computer sound slow ambient not unlike Brian Eno's Music for Airports or a combination of that album and 1982's On Land. (8/10)

2. "Birds Fly By Flapping Their Wings" (6:35) opens slowly but then treated drums and bass enter giving it an acid jazz kind of feel. Why this isn't acid jazz is due to the very little going on over the rhythm tracks. (8/10)

3**. "Warmed By The Drift" (6:50) with breathy horn play, this sounds like something from Mark Isham's Never Cry Wolf soundtrack. Enter bass and strumming guitar in the second half and we get a little change. (13/15)

4**. "In Triple Time" (5:50) what spills over from the previous song turns quickly into a kind of trip hoppy, acid jazz, KOOP-like danceable "ambient" music--with a little flute! Me likes! (10/10)

5**. "From A Solid To A Liquid" (5:19) like a contemplative duet on a church organ and electric piano. Haunting yet soothing. Very pretty. (9/10)

6**. "Arafura" (5:10) like the start of a KOOP song, only they got stuck, looped, while a piano is trying to sneak in but keeps getting clipped & splinched. The cool stuff you can do with computer editing! (8.75/10)

7. "Fall In, Fall Out" (7:10) pop-jazz snare drumming with clicks and pops until bass starts to sneak in and then two looped harp-like arpeggi. Harold Budd-like treated piano hit at 1:37 notes the entrance of another, new element. Perhaps a little too long. (13/15)

8. "Daphnis 26" (6:45) same insistent pace as the previous song but employing a whole different set of "instrument" sounds to achieve it. Sounds like a measure of a 1970s TANGERINE DREAM song trapped in a perpetual time loop. Heavier, almost"Tusk"-like marching band-like drums join in during the middle. Okay. (12/15)

9. "Altostratus" (5:11) an étude that simply goes nowhere interesting (to me). (6/10)

10. "Sherbrooke" (5:55) another "frozen in time" loop capturing one second of an acoustic rock band's song intro (think BONDAGE FRUIT's "Storm Bird, Storm Dreamer"). Interesting idea; wish it went somewhere. (7/10)

11**. "People Are Friends" (10:39) back to the Eno-esque soundscapes, using modern computer editing techniques to make it interesting. Ryuichi Sakamoto would love this! I wonder what the whispered and clipped voice samples are saying. (17.5/20)

Total time 69:52

12*. "In the Shape of a Flute" (6:17) opens like ripples in a pond after a rock has been dropped into it but then, about 50 seconds in, those snare-and-cymbal heavy Acid Jazz drums enter with their entourage of flutes. Again, I can't help but think of the KOOP albums from near this same period. The drums disappear for a spell in the fourth minute--letting the flutes have all the glory, but then return with a different arrangement for 100 of the final 130 seconds. Excellent! (9/10) * - missing on 2006 CD release ** - missing on 2005 LP release

C/3.5 stars; a very interesting album that the typical prog lover will probably enjoy quite a bit. For me it is a bit hit or miss--definitely filled with ingenious ideas and great sound, I think some songs could have been more fully developed. I definitely feel far more drawn to the Acid Jazz infused content.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of BIOSPHERE "Dropsonde"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.