Stator

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Nowa wspólna płyta mistrzów norweskiej elektroniki!

Reviews:

Other Music (USA):
Stator, the second split release of weathered Norwegian musical unsettlers Biosphere and Deathprod (the first one appeared way back in 1998), is an impressively sequenced record of classic electronic ambient bravura. Its mysterious title referring to both rotating and non-rotating parts in engineering and aeronautics devices, the duo explores these opposite characteristics across seven individually delivered tracks. Although it's quite obvious to discern who contributed to which track on a stylistic level, the album convinces as a whole through a rigorous yet open structure. Biosphere's opener "Muses-C" introduces pensive, minimal percussive motifs, whereas Deathprod's "Shimmer Flicker" offers solid quasi-Wagnerian drones accompanied by a sense of dread. The remainder of the album delivers a darkly enjoyable listening experience, with each artist thoughtfully complementing the other's contributions. Whereas Biosphere mostly provides subtle yet rhythmic trance effects, Deathprod's somewhat noisier and more abstract contributions contain balanced counterpoints. Stator convinces as an urgent reminder of the undoubtedly legendary status of these two celebrated ambient-deities, holding a lesson in conceptual consistency and depth of sound. [NVT]


ambientblog (Netherlands):
In 1998, Biosphere and Deathprod – Geir Jenssen and Helge Sten, respectively – released “Nordheim Transformed“: a split album where both artists transformed the original experimental music of (fellow Norwegian) Anne Nordheim’s “Electric” (1974) almost beyond recognition. It’s not completely clear whether Geir and Helge actually worked together on this album – it’s a split, where different tracks are each credited to one of the two artists – but from its coherence it’s clear that they at least influenced each other greatly in producing this album. “Nordheim Transformed” is a landmark album in both artists’ catalogue – as well as for the ambient music genre in general.

Seventeen years – and quite a lot of releases – later, Geir and Helge return to this split-album formula to release “Stator“, built on the same principles: each delivering individual tracks (three tracks contributed by Biosphere, and four tracks by Deathprod).
A project that was commissioned by Tape to Zero for their 2014 festival, “presenting both familiar and unfamiliar faces on the same stage, with fresh projects and a unique musical expression.”


Nordische Musik (Germany):
Mehr als 15 Jahre nach der ersten gemeinsamen CD fanden Geir »Biosphere« Jenssen, mittlerweile in zweiter Ehe im polnischen Krakau beheimatet, und Helge »Deathprod« Sten, zwischenzeitlich mit Supersilent bei einem vollen Dutzend exzellenter Alben angelangt, zu einer neuen Kollaboration zusammen. Angeregt wurde dies von ihrem Fan Kjetil »Skyggespill« Husebo, der mit Terje Evensen seit ein paar Jahren in Oslo das Festival »Tape to Zero« gestaltet, das sich in erste Linie als Experimentierfeld neuer und ergebnisoffener Zusammenarbeiten im weiten Feld von Avant-Jazz, Elektronik, Songwriting und Sound-Art begreift.

Für »Tape to Zero« 2014 erhielten Biosphere und Deathprod das Geschenk eines Auftragswerks, zur Erstaufführung im »Viktoria - Nasjonal Jazz Scene« in Oslo, und der hochgelobte Liveauftritt wurde im Anschluss für eine Veröffentlichung bei Biospheres Stammlabel, dem englischen »Touch« umgearbeitet. So weit, so gut — herausgekommen ist eine schöne Platte, die Fans beider Musiker nahezu ungehört erwerben und in die Sammlung stellen können. Großer Wermutstropfen ist freilich, dass die Stücke 50:50 unter beiden aufgeteilt sind: Jeder steuerte ziemlich genau 21 Minuten bei, ähnlich war es einst schon bei »Nordheim Transformed« der Fall gewesen. Gehofft auf und gefreut hätte man sich doch sehr angesichts einer echten, inspirierten und überraschenden Zusammenarbeit der beiden Altmeister des sogenannten »Arctic Ambient«- bzw. »Dark Ambient«-Genres. So aber liefern beide, was man von ihnen kennt. Nicht mehr, aber immerhin auch nicht weniger. (ijb)


Loop (Spain):
Two well-known artists of experimental music join (not for the first time) to compose 'Stator', an album of seven pieces of drone and ambient created by Norwegian Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere and Helge Sten under the moniker of Deatprod. Biosphere generated considerable notoriety with his debut album 'Microgravity' (Origo Sound, 1991) and became an icon of ambient music scene. Also influenced by the techno beats can be shown in his albums 'Microgravity' and 'Patashnik' (Origo Sound, 1994) or organic sounds on 'Shenzhou' (Touch, 2002) and minimal ambient on Autour De La Lune (Touch, 2004).

Deathprod started in 1991 and since then has released seven albums plus several collaborations. Helge Sten create his own electronic devices, using modulators, old audio tapes, theremins and samplers. He is a member of Supersilet band (avant-garde and improvisation) and produces Motorpsycho (psychedelic rock), both belonging to the roster of Rune Grammofon label.

'Muses-C' composed by Biosphere takes us to abrasive atmospheres accompanied by a loop while emerging a soft digital percussion. 'Shimmer/Flicker' created by Deathprod is a profound journey unfolding a dark Wagnerian orchestra. On 'Baud' (Biosphere) appear a repetitive, intermittent notes and clicks as if they were a preamble to an abstract film, so on the same side is 'Polychromatic' of Deathprod. 'Disc' (Deathprod) is enveloping with ambient lines while some glitches spread out. 'Space is Fizzy' (Biosphere) suggests go into the Kosmische corridors. 'Optical' of Deathprod that closes the album continues with the abrasive atmospheres of 'Muses-C' that slowly disappear over the horizon. The music on this album is intense and unsettling and hypnotic.


Süru (Lithuania):
Kažkas iš ateities – albumas išeis pasibaigus žiemai (kovo 30 dieną), bet man sekasi klausyti ji dabar. Norvegu ambient dievukai kartoja 1998 metu koloboraciją. Dideliu naujoviu čia nera – gilus drone ambient, iprastas Biosphere. Per didelio santurumo nera – čia daugiau šviesos bei kosmoso potepiai. Kurinys Space is Fizzy puikiai primena, koks puikus prodiuseris yra Geir Jenssen. Šito teks palaukt. [Marius Vortex]


Bad Alchemy (Germany),
Geir Jenssen, 1962 in Tromso geboren, und Helge Sten, der 9 Jahre jünger ist und aus Roros stammt, brauchten beide ihre Zeit, um zu denen zu werden, als die man sie kennt. So hatte ich nicht gewusst, dass Jenssen in den 80ern mit dem Synth-Pop von Bel Canto auf Crammed Discs zu hören war, bevor er etwa in The Fire Of Ork zusammen mit Pete Namlook vom Wind und den Sternen das Du angeboten bekam und er als Biosphere zum Inbegriff des 'arctic ambient' wurde, anfänglich auf dem heimischen Label Origo Sound, ab 1999 dann auf Touch. Sten seinerseits kam über noch prosaischere Umwege erst zu Motorpsycho und zu Supersilent. Schon 1998 fanden die beiden erstmals zueinander bei Nordheim Transformed, einer Verbeugung vor ihrem wegweisenden Landsmann Arne Nordheim. Hier huldigen die beiden dem synästhetischen Schimmern und Flickern und der Polychromie, mit der der Raum schmaucht und brummt. Dazu klopft eine Hand monoton die Sekunden, und die tanzenden Musen lassen den Puls in sanfte Wallung geraten. Nennt es Flow, nennt es Groove, Jenssen nennt es 'Muses-C'. Sten lässt den Raum brausend anschwellen in einem crescendierenden Beben, das dann einem unscharfen Dongen und gedämpftem Grollen weicht, das Düsternis und Einsamkeit suggeriert. Biosphere kehrt wieder mit einem zittrigen Pulsieren, Sten mit pixelig perforierter Düsternis. Als würden zwei Übersetzer sich kapitelweise abwechseln beim gleichen Text. Biospheres letzte Szene ist 'Space Is Fizzy', das den Dröhnfond mit einer poppig-melodischen und einer Basswelle durchpulst und groovy die Düsternis abschüttelt. Deathprod kontert das mit wieder anschwellender, monochro­mer Düsternis, ähnlich einer nächtlich brausenden Autobahn oder einer Klang gewordenen 'Texturologie' von Dubuffet. Da ist zwar Bewegung und Verdichtung, aber nur als ein granulares, dumpfes, grau-in-graues Einerlei. [BA 85 rbd]


Hunger Culture (Spain):
2 super productores experimentales son los que se encuentran detrás del nuevo lp del legendario sello británico Touch (Mika Vainio, Ryiuchi Sakamoto, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sohrab…) que se titula Stator y que cuenta con las brillantes mentes de los productores noruegos Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere y Helge Sten más conocido como Deathprod.

Ambos llevan muchos anos agitando el movimiento ambient de reminiscencia techno, Biosphere con un buen punado de discos llenos de lenguajes turbios como Microgravity o Patashnik o de corte más minimalista y orgánico como Substrata o Autour De La Lune, ambos publicados también en Touch, mientras que Deathprod ha publicado 7 lps y lleva desde el ano 1991 explorando el lado más oscuro del sonido.

Los 2 artistas comenzaron su colaboración en el ano 1999 con una reconfiguración de la música del compositor Arne Nordheim y los 2 (sobre todo Sten) gustan de crear sus propios dispositivos, utilizando viejas cintas de audio, samplers o theremins, con los que exprimen el sonido en busca de un viaje profundo y a veces axfisiante.

Los 40 minutos que dura el lp están formados por 3 temas originales de Biosphere y 4 de Deathprod, y esconden formas musicales abstractas (Baud, Polychromatic) desarrolladas con elasticidad por medio de percusión suave, atmósferas abrasivas (Muses-C, Optical) y envolventes líneas ambientales (Space is Fizzy, Shimmer/Flicker).


Merchants of Air (Belgium):
For the second time, Geir Jenssen (Biosphere) and Helge Sten (Deathprod) have worked together on an album. The last time they cooperated, the result became a classic in the ambient world, named Nordheim Transformed. Both projects have been working and experimenting with electronic music since the nineties. Biosphere, off course, is well-known for the ambient-techno hit 'Novelty Waves' but he also made some classic albums and soundtracks. Deathprod is known for his (dark) ambient albums and his work with Motorpsycho and Supersilent . So, there's about fourty years of ambient experience on this disk and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Biosphere opens and takes every odd-numbered track on the album while Deathprod takes the even numbers. Both of them mainly focus on minimal ambient where otherworldy sounds come floating in and out over a number of loops. That's a very unpoetic way to describe this album, but regarding the combined experience these projects have, you can be quite sure the endresult is beautiful, relaxing and quite a bit adventurous.

For an ambient album like this, there's plenty of variation. Be it the minimalist percussion in 'Muses-C'(Biosphere), the thundery drones in 'Shimmer Flicker' (Deathprod), the abstract sounds in 'Baud' (Bioshpere) or the floating soundscapes in 'Disc' (Deathprod), every song and every piece of sound has its place and its function. All of these little aspects help making the album complete and extremely enjoyable. My absolute favourite on this album is 'Space Is Fizzy', a calm but rhythmic piece with a slight trance-effect.

However, the other tracks fit in perfectly with each other. At moments, there's a slight noise-level but those quickly fade away into the same ambient wall-of-sound both acts create. All tracks are quietly balancing on the edge, the thin line where this thing we call music fades in and out off the lives we live and the surroundings we experience. That's a more poetic description, finally. None of both projects has been experimenting a lot on this album. Instead, what we get is exactly what we can expect from ambient-deities like these, outstanding and well-produced musical landscapes in the vein of their previous works. Overall, Deathprod takes it a bit noisier, darker and grittier while Biosphere focuses on the lighter, colder side of things. The combination of these two, however, is simply excellent. To some it might be creepy, dark and just plain scary but to ambient, and especially dark ambient and drone fans, this music is soothing and relaxing. It's mainly for these people that this album is highly recommended.


Carnage (Italy):
Davvero particolare l’uscita di oggi su Carnage per l’etichetta specializzata in ambient/noise/elettronica Touch. Vediamo una coppia costituita da due grandi solisti, che hanno fatto la storia nel panorama elettronico underground (neanche poi cosi tanto underground). Parliamo del leggendario Biosphere, nome d’arte del norvegese Geir Jensen, e di Deathprod, moniker dell’altro norvegese tuttofare dell’elettronica Helge Sten. Il primo e famoso per la sua ambient techno (ricordate che nel 1995 il suo pezzo Novelty Waves, viene utilizzata per gli spot Levi’s): lavori come Substrata del 1997, hanno segnato un’epoca in cui IDM e techno si sono presi a braccetto, facendo tabula rasa di distinzioni ed etichettature. Deathprod e dal 1991 che produce musica sotto questo nome, manipola di tutto, dai nastri agli oscillatori, si fa anche chiamare Audio Virus, nei crediti delle sue registrazioni (e anche membro dei Supersilent e ha prodotto e collaborato con i Motorpsycho). Tutti e due sanno utilizzare il proprio stile e inserirlo all’interno di numerosi progetti. Ora che molto probabilmente avete letto cose gia risapute (le presentazioni purtroppo sono comunque obbligatorie), passiamo a questa sorpresa che e Stator, uno split, e non propriamente un album a quattro mani. I pezzi che lo costituiscono sono dei singoli autori, che si alternano e che propongono ognuno la propria sonorita, il proprio strumento, la prospettiva personale. Affascinante vedere come, pur nelle loro somiglianze, i due si differenzino molto nel tono delle sfumature e nei dettagli della cura del pezzo. Partendo dal titolo del disco, Stator, vediamo una sua doppia definizione. Stator, nel vocabolario di ingegneria e la parte stazionaria di un dispositivo con meccanismo rotatorio di motore o generatore, in aeronautica e un sistema nonrotante radialmente assemblato con parti rotanti, come le eliche nelle turbine a gas. L’altra ulteriore definizione e dal latino, “colui che sta”, “colui che ha resistenza”. Anche qui, notare il molteplice significato del termine “resistenza”, sempre un doppio registro tecnico/umano. Biosphere sembra ricoprire questo primo aspetto, mentre Deathprod il secondo. La geometria cantabile di Biosphere si scontra con l’impressionismo lirico di Deathprod, che oltrepassa le strutture “apollinee” del primo. Su questo nucleo tematico/estetico avviene un confronto compositivo in cui i pochi elementi utilizzati, prendono a piene mani dall’indicazione delle definizioni: i movimenti rotatori, gli oscillatori, i rotary, direbbe un organista, si intessono (con Biosphere), si spostano e slittano sporcandosi (con Deathprod). Questa continua dicotomia, viene sottolineata anche dai singoli autori (si pensi al pezzo bifronte Shimmer/Flicker, le cui espansioni cedono il posto a rintocchi solenni e ripetitivi e che mandano a monte l’accordatura cantata dalle eliche di Muses In C di Jensen).

Baud e l’alternanza tra diversi ritmi rotatori che genera una melodia minima, che si fonda sui cambi ritmici e tonali. I sussurri di Polychromatic di Deathprod decostruisce il lento lavoro di strutturazione del pezzo precedente (per mano di Biosphere) fatto di silenzi, pulsazioni vicine e colpi in lontananza. Ma e con Disc che, a mio avviso, viene raggiunto l’apice intimo del disco: Helge Sten prepara un bel tappeto di polvere su cui soffiare lentamente le sue risonanze, in grado di generare motivi archetipici e oscurita sconfinate. Ritorna Biosphere con il “pop” Space Is Fizzy, che si fa percussiva, minimalista, in stile reichiano (eleganza, razionalita e buon gusto: una lezione da tenere a mente). Optical spazza via tutto quello che la compostezza richiedeva, togliendo il velo della chiarezza e insudiciando la lente da entomologo che seziona, organizza e dispone sul solco acustico: droni prima (o dopo) la tempesta.

Stator e un ring, una zona delimitata in cui due compositori e due visioni, si scontrano, si mettono a nudo, si contrastano, si aiutano, si precedono, si inseguono e si respingono. Uno continuo gioco di opposti, considerando tutta la serieta che dispone il gioco. Una lotta, quella da cui nasce questa opera. Anzi, la lotta degli elementi e spesso il seme dell’opera d’arte. Il campo di battaglia e davanti a noi. L’orizzonte inarrivabile.
TO99

Opis

Wydawca
Touch
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Biosphere / Deathprod
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Stator
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CD
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