Substrata (album)

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Biosphere substrata cover.jpg
Studio album by Biosphere
Released 1997
Genre Ambient
Length 58:33
Label All Saints Records
Biosphere chronology
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]

Substrata is an ambient music album by Biosphere, released in 1997 by All Saints Records. It is considered to be a classic ambient album, consistently in the top 5 in surveys on the Hyperreal ambient mailing list.[2][3][4]

It is Biosphere's first truly ambient album, and has a theme of cold, of mountains and glaciers and running water. Sounds of howling wind and creaking wood, although infrequently employed, create a chilling soundscape interrupted by sonorous but quietly suspenseful music.

In 2001 the album was re-released in a digitally remastered format with a second disc featuring a soundtrack for Dziga Vertov's 1929 film Man with a Movie Camera, as Substrata 2.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "As the Sun Kissed the Horizon" – 1:47
  2. "Poa Alpina" – 4:10
  3. "Chukhung" – 7:34
  4. "The Things I Tell You" – 6:28
  5. "Times When I Know You'll Be Sad" – 3:44
  6. "Hyperborea" – 5:45
  7. "Kobresia" – 7:12
  8. "Antennaria" – 5:05
  9. "Uva-Ursi" – 3:00
  10. "Sphere of No-Form" – 5:47
  11. "Silene" – 7:54


"Sorry to wake you. [...] I forgot to tell you something. [...] The things I tell you will not be wrong."

  • Track 6: Hyperborea - speech from Twin Peaks (same episode) from the scene where Major Briggs explains his vision to his son, Bobby:

"This was a vision, fresh and clear as a mountain stream, the mind revealing itself to itself. In my vision, I was on the veranda of a vast estate, a palazzo of some fantastic proportion. There seemed to emanate from it a light from within, this gleaming, radiant marble. I'd known this place. I had in fact been born and raised there. This was my first return. A reunion with the deepest well-springs of my being. Wandering about, I noticed happily that the house had been immaculately maintained. There'd been added a number of additional rooms, but in a way that blended so seamlessly with the original construction, one would never detect any difference. Returning to the house's grand foyer, there came a knock at the door. My son was standing there. He was happy and carefree, clearly living a life of deep harmony and joy. We embraced, a warm and loving embrace, nothing withheld. We were, in this moment, one. My vision ended and I awoke with a tremendous feeling of optimism and confidence in you and your future. That was my vision of you. I'm so glad to have had this opportunity to share it with you. I wish you nothing but the very best in all things."

  • Track 7: Kobresia - "Это либо металл, либо... Если металл, то крашенный... холодная поверхность... " speech in Russian sampled from a documentary recording about Russian telepathic Karl Nikolaev who's sitting in a room trying to guess which item is lying on a table situated in a room two stages above him. This sample is taken from a Moscow radio broadcast translation. Near translation into English is:

"This is either a metal, or... if it is a metal, then it's painted... cold surface... This is either a metal, painted, or could be a plastic... Colorful, there are... Bright... Seems like... is this a toy, probably? The surface is smooth, but... there are some bumps on it... Even the finger stucks in it... Probably it is... some marks, or is this a letters?... Or just a bumps... Looks like a toy... Colorful metal, or a plastic... painted metal... That's all.. Stop.[5]"


External links[edit]