Seventeen years later, it’s a GAS
April 21, 2017 5:31 PM   Subscribe

While Kompakt records co-founder Wolfgang Voigt has hundreds of releases to his pseudonyms, its likely his 1997-2000 ambient/techno project GAS that has had the most influence. Critics took last year’s vinyl reissue of four albums (Zauberberg, Königsforst, Pop, and the long-missed Oktember 12”) as an opportunity to lavish praise: The Quietus, Spectrum Culture, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor. Recently, Boiler Room’s Music Editor Gabreil Szatan interviewed Voigt about the project.
Today, Voigt released the first new GAS album in seventeen years: Narkopop. Early reviews are in from NPR, Pitchfork, The A.V. Club, and Line of Best Fit.
posted by Going To Maine (10 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Squee! I listen to Gas all the time and keep thinking "why is there not more music like this?"
posted by Nelson at 5:45 PM on April 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've listened to this three times now and NPR's "majestically disquiet" hits the nail on the head for me. Individual tracks always pull me out of my background listening, while others are just as subdued as you'd expect them to be on a GAS record.

Regardless of whether "ambient techno" sounds like your cup of tea or not, give this thing a listen because for my money this is some of this year's best releases so far.
posted by bigendian at 6:35 PM on April 21, 2017

Damn I haven't listened to Pop in over 10 years and it's as good as I remembered.
posted by STFUDonnie at 11:58 PM on April 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thank you! I would have totally missed this. I ran every single GAS release into the ground over the years. Even dragged my wife to his visual performance at Columbia University years ago. Even if this is poor facsimile of my least favorite tracks I will happily listen for weeks. So exited to listen.

Voigt's releases are uneven overall (which is often the case when people try to do original work). but anyone who enjoys GAS albums might also enjoy Rückverzauberung 10. It's got a Königforst feel but less club and more forest and pleasantly evolves over an hour without looping. I found it lovely. Thanks again for this post!
posted by milarepa at 6:28 AM on April 22, 2017

I listened through Narkopop once. It's good! It largely sounds exactly like the previous GAS releases. It has its own stylistic unity just like the previous albums did. Listening to the new one I realize the stylistic unity of this music is the swelling medium tempo bassline. That's what makes the GAS sound.

I'm confused about the status of the old releases now. This article about Box suggests that the old Nah und Fern release was only an hour. But what I bought from Bleep back in 2009 seems to be roughly 4 hours, full albums for Gas / Koenigsforst / Pop / Zauberberg. So I think all I'm missing from the old material is Oktember, a single 11 minute track?

Thanks for the recommendation of Rückverzauberung 10. I've also found some similar music I like buried in the old Thinner netlabel releases. Digitalverein is something I keep coming back to: sample track.
posted by Nelson at 8:23 AM on April 22, 2017

Yeah, Nah und Fern includes everything but Oktember, which is actually two tracks and can be nabbed on bandcamp if you are so inclined.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:13 AM on April 22, 2017

The GAS box, and the new reissues, are expanded on the versions on the Nah und Fern set, which I think are the original CD versions.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:32 PM on April 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm re-listening to the Bleep:10 comp right now and the first track sets the tone with a roiling low churn overlaid with orchestral stings. When I look up at the screen to see what track it is, it's by Gas. So thanks for this post: I have an artist to link the name to and a hell of a lot more listening to look forward to!
posted by ardgedee at 1:46 PM on April 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bought Narkopop and listened to it a few times and it's really good. It's more dark and unsettling than some of the rest of Gas, more creepy harmonies I associate with the slow parts of a horror movie. This is a good thing.
posted by Nelson at 4:33 PM on April 27, 2017

A very different Wolfgang Voigt showed up to for the Resident Advisor podcast this week.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:46 PM on April 30, 2017

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