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Biosphere - Patashnik.jpg
Original Apollo cover
Studio album by Biosphere
Released 1994
Genre Ambient, ambient house
Length 66:04
Label Apollo
Origo Sound
Producer Geir Jenssen
Biosphere chronology
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]

Patashnik (1994) is an ambient house album, the second release by musician Biosphere (alias Geir Jenssen). It was released by Origo Sound in Norway and by Apollo in the rest of the world. Its track "Novelty Waves" was used for a 1995 Levi's ad campaign.


According to Jenssen, the word patashnik is allegedly Russian cosmonaut slang for "a traveler"[2] or "a goner", a cosmonaut who didn't return from a space mission because his security cable disengaged and he was lost in space.[3][4] There appears to be no such word in contemporary Russian, but such surnames do exist,[5] and it still sheds light on Jenssen's intent with the title.

Through Patashnik, Jenssen continued to explore his ambient-house stylings to an even greater extent. Patashnik contained the first hints of the reduction in beat-driven song structure that would mark later Biosphere releases. Unlike the first album, Patashnik was quickly picked up by a comparatively large international audience, which brought Biosphere greater recognition. A music video made for the track "The Shield" was often played on MTV's Chill Out Zone show.

In 1995, Levi Strauss & Co. was searching for a new angle to add to their television advertisement campaign (which up to that point had never featured electronic music), and they decided to use the uptempo track "Novelty Waves" from Patashnik. Shortly thereafter, "Novelty Waves" was released as a single (featuring remixes by various other artists), and managed to chart in several countries. Although Jenssen never regretted his approval for use of the track, he also never sought this kind of fame and subsequently turned down various requests by his record company and peers to collaborate with well-known techno and drum 'n bass artists or to create a follow-up album in the same style.

In 2007, Patashnik was reissued by Beatservice Records with a new cover and the same contents.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Phantasm" – 4:50
  2. "Startoucher" – 5:02
  3. "Decryption" – 6:04
  4. "Novelty Waves" – 6:27
  5. "Patashnik" – 6:13
  6. "Mir" – 5:18
  7. "The Shield" – 8:54
  8. "SETI Project" – 5:58
  9. "Mestigoth" – 1:43
  10. "Botanical Dimensions" – 5:43
  11. "Caboose" – 5:12
  12. "En-Trance" – 4:40

In addition to the title track, two other track titles are space references: "Mir", referring to the Mir space station, and "SETI Project", referring to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.


All tracks written by Geir Jenssen, except "Botanical Dimensions" (written by Karsten Brustad, arranged and remixed by Geir Jenssen). "The Shield" was commissioned by Concerts Norway. 2007 reissue: With "Thanks to Helge Gaarder (1953–2004)"; CD photography and design by Hanne Brochmann.[6]


As is usual in Biosphere's music, the album incorporates several known or obscure speech samples:

  • Track 1: Phantasm – "We had a dream last night, we had the same dream" speech from the movie The Krays
  • Track 2: Startoucher – "So, you're really into this space stuff...?" speech from the movie SpaceCamp
  • Track 3: Decryption – "So frightening to lose yourself..." speech from the movie Scanners
  • Track 5: Patashnik – "Получаю данные, восемнадцать тридцать восемь" speech in Russian (English translation is "Receiving data, 18 38") from the movie 2010
  • Track 7: The Shield – "Will I dream?"/"What do you mean?" speech from the movie 2010
  • Track 8: SETI Project – "Can you imagine, an extraterrestrial disc jockey..." speech from the movie SpaceCamp


  • Biosphere, Patashnik, 2007 CD reissue, Beatservice Records, BS106CD
  • O'Brien, M. A. 1944. New Russian-English and English-Russian Dictionary. Courier Dover Publications — P. 237: "пташ/ка s. (gpl. -шок) & -ечка s. (gpl. -чек) dim. bird."
  • Pettersen, Tomas Lauvland. 25 July 2003. "De la Terre à la Lune". Music Information Centre Norway: (2005 copy) — "Jenssen’s fascination for everything space continued with 1994’s Patashnik (R&S/Apollo). The title is the Russian phrase for those cosmonauts that didn’t return from their missions in space."
  • Temirov, Vadim. 2 June 2004. "History of patashnika in the classical epoch". Topos magazine: (2007 copy machine-translated from Russian by Babel Fish) — "Patashnik is the Russian cosmonaut, who, after leaving in orbit, without ceremony took a step into open space, yes so it did not return - was disengaged cable."
  • Thompson, Dave. 2000. Alternative Rock: The Best Musicians and Recordings. Miller Freeman Books (ISBN 0879306076) — P. 198: "[...] the next Biosphere album, 1994's Patashnik (Russian for 'the traveller')."


  1. ^
  2. ^ Thompson 2000
  3. ^ Pettersen 2003
  4. ^ Temirov 2004
  5. ^ The Russian -nik suffix is well known, but no word or root for "patash" is found in usual Russian dictionaries. It could derive from a misspelled or misheard word "ptashka" (пташка, a bird – cf. O'Brien 1944) or "propavshij" (пропавший, lost, missing in action); and in Ukrainian, "ptashnik" means "aviary, poultry house"[1]. Indeed, the Russian surname Пташник [2]/Ptashnik [3] and the variant Паташник [4]/Patashnik [5] abounds. However, though ptashnik/patashnik may mean "a bird-like thing, a traveler", no direct source could be located that such word was an actual slang for a "lost cosmonaut" among space-faring Russians.
  6. ^ Biosphere, 2007 CD reissue.

External links[edit]