Ever since he debuted on Origo/Apollo with the groundbreaking ’Microgravity’, now thirty years ago, Geir Jenssen has been a major force in ambient techno, steadily building a catalogue that’s rivalled only by few.
After three wonderful albums on Biophon (2018’s ’The Hilvarenbeek Recordings’, that has Jenssen samplng a broad palette of Dutch farm sounds is a total store favorite) the Norwegian maestro has now landed on AD 93 with a thoroughly unique album.
Originally composed in 2019 for Uncoordinated Dog, a dance production by the Norwegian Ingun Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt, It features twelve tracks based on Beethoven’s infamous String Quartet No. 14 – a piece that Beethoven himself considered to be one of the best works he ever composed.
Jenssen manipulates and morphs the classical masterpiece into something entirely his own, giving the string harmonies a thin veil of Northern light on the first four parts before catapulting the German giant into space on the fifth and sixth movements.
Proceedings get downright depressed on the heavy-hearted seventh movement ‘As Pale As A Pearl’ (which is, of course, not necessarily a bad thing), before Jenssen loops up some of the fourteenth most recognizable micro-melodies into two of the most striking pieces on the album in a way that resembles Akira Rabelais’ approach on the classic ‘Spellewauerynsherde’ and ‘Eisoptrophobia’ albums.
It’s those two tracks (‘Faith and Reverence’ and ‘Unclouded Splendor’) that form the heart of this ominous and at times pitch-dark album that has Jenssen successfully crossing over from Nordic ambient to avantgarde postmodern classical. And although ‘Angel’s Flight’ may not be for everyone, it’s one of his most accomplished albums to date and one of the most interesting albums to come out this year so far. (RO)
Angel’s Flight is the new album from highly-acclaimed producer and composer Biosphere, set for release on vinyl and CD in January 2021. It features twelve tracks based on Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14 that deftly tread the peripheries of classical and electronic composition. Much of the music was initially composed for Uncoordinated Dog, a dance production by the Ingun Bjørnsgaard Prosjekt in 2019 that explored the personal, the ambiguous, exposure and beauty – which gives you a sense of what the album holds.