Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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Artist: Geir Jenssen
Title: Stromboli
Format: 12"
Label: Touch (@)
Rated: *****
Mostly known for having been the harbinger of the so-called ambient-techno or arctic ambient and sonic herald of natural and cosmic energies under the guise of his stage name Biosphere, Norwegian musician Geir Jenssen has a strong passion for climbing. During these endeavours, he often collects sounds and field recording he pour into his records, which are sometimes strictly connected to this hobby: the most known release of this genre has been "Cho Oyu 8201m ' Field Recordings from Tibet", which provided sonic documentary evidence of the climbing without oxygen of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, he did in September-October 2001. This time he managed to reach the crater edge of Stromboli, an active volcano off the north coast of Sicily, also known as the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean" as its frequent eruptions (one per hour on average) are easily visible from many points of the self-named island and the surrounding sea and famous in literature as Jules Verne set the final stage and the finish line of "Journey to the Center of the Earth". Geir climbed it three years after his last major eruption which occurred on April 13th, 2009 with full accouterments (a Canon 5D mkII SLR, a Fostex FR-2LE field memory record and an Audio-Technica AT835ST shotgun microphone) to grab the noises from this red-hot papule of our planet, which sound really striking not only for volcanologists. On the flipside, you'll also find a version, "Stromboli Dub", which remarkably differs from the ordinary idea of "dub", as Geir didn't add any drum, instrumental or "artificial" sound; he preferred to keep within the lines of original lava murmuring and sudden explosions by extracting a sort of natural rhythmical slow syncopation and emphasizing the "spatial" perspective of the recording by means of slight echo, reverbs and delay.