The signature Gas logo
|Birth name||Wolfgang Voigt|
|Years active||1995–2000, 2014–present|
|Labels||Mille Plateaux, Kompakt|
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, 2017 and Rausch in 2018.
Gas's music is primarily regarded as ambient techno and 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, has 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, because it lacks any trace of orthodox melody or chord change, many would not describe it as musical.[footnote 1] 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.
- Gas (1996) – Mille Plateaux
- Zauberberg (1997) – Mille Plateaux
- Königsforst (1999) – Mille Plateaux
- Pop (2000) – Mille Plateaux
- Narkopop (2017) – Kompakt
- Rausch (2018) – Kompakt
- Love Inc. – "Hot Love (Gas Mix) (1995)
- Markus Guentner – "Regensburg (Gas Mix)" (2002)
- The Field – "Cupid's Head (Gas Ambient Mix)" (2014)
- Robyn & Kindness – "Who Do You Love (Wolfgang Voigt GAS Mix)" (2016)
- Voigt has responded directly to this statement in this Wikipedia article in an interview with online music journal Globecat:
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.
- Young, Rob. "Deep in the woods". The Wire (291).
- "Red Bull Music Academy". Red Bull Music Academy. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Bunz, Mercedes. "Der deutsche Wald in der Disko". Heise.de. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
- "Wolfgang Voigt Announces First New GAS Album in 17 Years". Pitchfork. March 15, 2017. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- "Wolfgang Voigt's pioneering ambient techno gets an anthology box set". The A.V. Club. August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- Perevedentseva, Maria (June 26, 2017). "To The Things Themselves: The Strange World Of... Wolfgang Voigt". The Quietus. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- Beta, Andy. "This Is the Best Meditation Music". Vulture. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- Rabenau, Kai von. "mono.kultur - Wolfgang Voigt". Mono-kultur.com. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
- GmbH, musicline.de / PhonoNet. "Genrelexikon - Dance & Electronic - Sound of Cologne - musicline.de". Musicline.de. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
- Murray, Ian. "Looping Back: Wolfgang Voigt's GAS (1996-2000)". Ethos. University of North Carolina. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- "Dive Into a Musical Opium Den With Wolfgang Voigt's New GAS Album". Thump. Vice Media. April 28, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
- "Interview with Wolfgang Voigt". Globecat.blogspot.com. August 12, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
- Sherburne, Philip (October 21, 2008). "Wolfgang Voigt plays Gas". Resident Advisor. Retrieved December 5, 2008.