The signature Gas logo
|Birth name||Wolfgang Voigt|
|Years active||1995–2000, 2014–present|
|Labels||Mille Plateaux, Kompakt, Profan|
Gas (stylized as GAS or G A S) is the main musical project of German electronic musician and composer Wolfgang Voigt (born 1961). The project was created as an expressive medium inspired by his experiences with taking LSD in the Königsforst, a German forest situated near his hometown of Cologne, for long periods in his youth.He has claimed that the intention of the project is to "bring the forest to the disco, or vice-versa".
Wolfgang Voigt began creating music under the name of Gas starting in 1995, when he released the EP Modern on the label Profan. However, he has regarded individual pieces created from 1989 onward as being part of the Gas project, marked by a compiled 2008 release under his real name. A hiatus for the Gas project started after the release of Pop in 2000, but this concluded when in 2008, Voigt's own label Kompakt re-released all four of his Gas albums, albeit with subtle changes made to the tracks, as a four-CD box set entitled Nah und Fern . A limited double vinyl version of the set was also released, with one track from each album per side.
In 2016, Kompakt reissued Zauberberg , Königsforst , Oktember and Pop as a 10-LP box set called Box , again editing or expanding many of the tracks. Voigt has intermittently revived the project for remixes and released new Gas albums since, including Narkopop on April 21, 2017and Rausch in 2018.
Gas's music is primarily regarded as ambient technoand minimal techno, combining ambient music and 4/4 techno. It is the most abstract of Voigt's many projects, with albums consisting of several long untitled tracks. All Gas material shares a characteristic sound, based on a hazy ambient wash of drones and sampled loops, "barely-audible fragments of horns, strings, record hiss and wind", usually accompanied by a repetitive four-on-the-floor kick drum. The Wire described it as "an outdoor rave, heard floating through the air from a neighbouring village". Voigt has declared it to be "GASeous music, caught by a bass drum just marching by, that streams, streams out through the underwood across the forest soil". He also said it "[moves] around in constantly overlapping loop structures" and "there is no definite start nor end". His live performances, which he performs using MIDI controls and Ableton Live, have this same organic quality.
He commented that he builds his tracks using samples, which are manipulated beyond recognition to create what can better be described as textural environments than songs. He described 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". Most of the time there is no clear musical progression in a Gas track and, because it lacks any trace of orthodox melody or chord change, many would not describe it as musical. However, the sources of Voigt's samples are often of musical origin, encapsulating "old pop record stuff" as well as classical music such as Richard Wagner and Arnold Schoenberg.
All Gas tracks are untitled, except the Modern and Oktember releases.
Q: In your Wikipedia entry, whoever wrote it says: "Because Gas music lacks any trace of melody or chord change, many would not describe it as *musical*." How would you respond to the writer of the article -- and where do you personally draw the line between "musical" and "non-musical," if there is such a line?
A: I think the boundaries between "musical" and "non-musical" are in a state of flux. Otherwise, I do not really care about any "musicality" related to GAS. Emotions, structure, aesthetics are more important to me. Melodies in the classical sense are not supposed to be in GAS, although they exist, as hidden and overlayered as the chord changes. But you have to notice them.
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Wolfgang Voigt is an electronic music DJ and producer from Cologne, Germany, known for his output under various aliases, such as Gas. He signed on numerous record labels, including Warp, Harvest, Raster-Noton, Force Inc, Astral Industries and Kompakt. The latter was co-founded by Voigt alongside Michael Mayer and Jürgen Paape. He is considered one of the most influential minimal techno artists.
Kompakt is a Cologne-based electronic music independent record label and vinyl/CD distributor, owned by Wolfgang Voigt, Michael Mayer and Jürgen Paape. They specialize in microhouse and minimal techno, and are known for their Total compilation series which reached its seventeenth installment in 2017.
Mille Plateaux is an electronica record label founded 1993 by Achim Szepanski in Frankfurt, Germany. It mostly releases minimal techno, glitch music and other experimental electronic music.
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Oktember is the second EP by Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project. It was released in February 1999 on the Mille Plateaux label.
Gas is the debut album by Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project, released on 29 November 1996 on the Mille Plateaux label. Gas solidifies the sound of the project, moving away from dance floor-ready techno by incorporating lengthy pieces of ambient music, under which is a sole kick drum. It is the only album by Gas not to feature the forest motif in its artwork.
Zauberberg is the second album by Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project. It was first released on vinyl in December 1997 on the Mille Plateaux label, with a CD release following in February 1998. The album is named in reference to the Thomas Mann novel The Magic Mountain. It is the first Gas album to incorporate the forest imagery that would become a trademark of the project. Reviews generally cite Zauberberg as the darkest, most dissonant Gas release.
Königsforst is the third album by Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project. It was released in December 1998 on the Mille Plateaux label. The album is named after Königsforst recreation park, near Voigt's hometown of Köln, in which his youthful experiments with LSD provided inspiration for the entire Gas project.
Pop is the fourth album by Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project, released on 28 March 2000 on Mille Plateaux. At the time of its release, reviews noted 'a striking left turn' in the sound, compared to other Gas releases; the album sounds considerably crisper, with a less muffled kickdrum and less of the 'underwater' quality present on other releases under the name.
Nah und Fern is a boxed set collecting the four albums released by Wolfgang Voigt under the Gas alias between 1996 and 2000, released on 10 June 2008. An edited double vinyl edition was also released alongside the compact disc box set. Voigt noted around the time of release that, during remastering of his work, the music seemed to resist attempts at cleaning up the recordings, with the muffled or lo-fi nature of some elements of the music forming an integral part of the characteristic Gas sound. All four albums were originally released on the label Mille Plateaux. The box set reached #13 on the Billboard Top World Music Albums chart.
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Robert Babicz is a Polish music producer, mastering engineer and live performer living in Cologne, Germany. With a career spanning nearly two decades covering genres from techno to acid house to minimal, Robert has also been known under the pseudonyms Rob Acid, Acid Warrior, Department of Dance and Sontec amongst many others. He has released a number of very well respected records on labels such as Kompakt, Treibstoff, Bedrock, Intec Digital and Steve Bug's Audiomatique, as well his own labels, Junkfood and Babiczstyle. He is well known as a live performer, never a DJ, as he uses synths and live equipment and improvises in every set he plays.
Ryan Gobbe is an Australian electronic musician who records under the names Mieli and Twotone. Ryan Gobbe studied Music Production at the Southern Cross University and graduated in 2000.
Narkopop is the fifth studio album by Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project, the first album under the moniker in 17 years and his first on Kompakt. The album was released on 21 April 2017.
Rausch is the sixth studio album by Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project. The album was released on 18 May 2018. The album consists of one piece of music that is indexed solely for navigational purposes, and is designed to be listened to in one sitting. Both vinyl and CD pressings contain the full piece.
Box is the second boxed set released by Wolfgang Voigt under his Gas alias. The album collects the compact disc versions of Zauberberg, Königsforst , Pop and Oktember. The album marked Voigt's return to the Gas project, with a new album, Narkopop, seeing release the year after Box. The boxed set consisted of 10 vinyl records as well as 4 compact discs and an art book.