GAS-Rausch: Album Review

You may not know that Wolfgang Voigt has more than 30 aliases. Among the dozens of names, GAS and/or G A S is one. On March 18th, Voigt released a 2 LP set titled “Rausch” through his label Kompakt. 

Those familiar with Voigt’s previous GAS releases, like last year’s “Narkopop,” know the ambient and minimal techno sounds he is capable of creating.  According to Voigt, GAS represents a musical narrative of his youthful LSD experiences in the Königsforst, a German forest near Cologne.  These experiences are the main influence behind the music’s feel. Notably, Voigt is recognized as one Germany’s most respected and influential electronic music makers working today, building his reputation for creating ambient techno and minimal techno in long player forms. He keeps the music organic, experimental, and hauntingly beautiful. He builds his tracks using manipulated samples beyond recognition and are more like textural environments rather than songs. 

Describing the technique as “a certain kind of loops [sic] and reverse, and alternated reverses, which has no ending and no start, and it’s just totally confusing.” Voigt also “coin termed” it as such-“GASeous music caught by a bass drum just marching by, that streams, streams through the underwood across the forest soil. [moves] around constantly overlapping loop structures and there is no definite start nor end.” 

Now that you have a general idea of the kind of music Voigt makes under the name of GAS, “Rausch” represents one piece of continuous and looped music consisting of four tracks – “A” “B” “C” “D.” 

The music is gorgeous ambient music that is full of mystery and laced with minimalism x loops x atmospheric layers and a touch of static “ala stylus hitting the groove,” all creating a very interesting listening experience. This latest release has also received high praise from major press outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to PASTE, Resident Advisor and DJ Mag to MOJO and UNCUT, among many others. The perceived concept of the 2 LP set gives one the potential to create many mood settings from meditation to background. Intrigued? I was when I received the recordings. The interesting cover art instills a curiosity of the music that is inside, which once you experience, you’ll agree it is an aural beauty. Recommended for a “one sitting” listening experience and while you’re at it, check out GAS’ previous recording “Narkopop,” also out on Kompakt.

—Leo Weaver

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