- Audio CD (August 19, 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Raster Music
- ASIN: B001CV19RE
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,680 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Softcover book/photographic art catalogue with exclusive audio compact disc included, 128 pages in full-color, shrink-wrapped together. For the first time ever, Wolfgang Voigt aka Gas presents the visual aspect of the comprehensive Gas project in print. It is not meant to be a monolithic retrospective of his visual work, but it features a broad spectrum of photographic images taken between 1995 and 1998, showing many different moods and perspectives of Wolfgang Voigt's cosmos. What they all have in common is the mystical focus and seemingly, the blurring of boundaries between lightness and darkness, happiness and depression, kitsch and art, pixels and leaves. With the enclosed CD, Voigt has opened his treasure chest and presents some well-selected, rare jewels from the very early days (and nights). Four of the five tracks have never been released or played before. In the middle of the 1990s, Wolfgang Voigt, better known under a great many pseudonyms such as Mike Ink, Studio1 or Grungerman, and the driving force behind the rise of Cologne minimal techno, had reached a temporary peak in his career. Going back to the 1980s, Voigt began working under a self-realized concept he named "Blei." Taking in the most varied sound models, he began to extract elements from classical, polka, or brass music, and along with electronic pop music and German schlager sounds, formed a distinguished and unique pop music style that would fit in with the subculture at that time. In the early 1990s, influenced by techno, Voigt began to experiment with a timbal marching through strongly alienated, free-floating string loops. These elegiac tracks, their lack of beginning or end, their intoxicating, smooth, and partly amorphous structure sounded to him like evaporating gas and thus, Gas music was born. In his music, Wolfgang Voigt does not create a direct reference to the original sounds he alters; rather, he tries to reduce the material to its basic aesthetic structure by using different zoom, loop and alienation techniques in order to release it from its original meaning and context. His intention is to create a kind of aesthetic essence, a cave (detail/loop/repetition) where you can get thrillingly lost.
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Top customer reviews
As a big Gas fan, I have the Nah Und Fern collection in addition to the original versions of some of the tracks altered in Nah Und Fern. The tracks included with this artbook can't be found in the compilation or anywhere else. The CD included with this is titled "November 89" and it shares many similarities with the albums included in Nah Und Fern, but also has a different feel to it. While many of the original Gas album tracks build upon each other, the tracks in November 89 are much more ambiguous and separate. There are 5 tracks, Tal 90 being my personal favorite.
I was also somewhat bothered that the book was paperback since most high quality collector's books are hardback. However my worries were misplaced, as the book is very beautiful and elegant. The words on the front, spine, and back are emphasized in smooth, shiny red lettering. The pages inside are high quality paper and there's a very nice contrast throughout the entire book between deep darks and soft highlights. There are very few words overall--this is a true artbook in the sense that the images do all the "talking".
This is a must have for any Gas fan or anyone who enjoys meditation through soundscapes. The photos in the book are very fitting for the music and it's quite a mental journey to focus on the images while listening and just get lost in them.
Other reviewers have already given superb descriptions of this GAS music, so I'll only throw in a few of my personal impressions. I learned about this album from a book store worker who turns out to be a fellow traveler in this obscure branch of music where I spend so much of my listening time these days. I have encountered very few people who like this kind of stuff outside of cyberspace, so it was a pleasure indeed, and his GAS recommendation turned out to be spot-on. I love the moods established by these Voigt pieces, of brooding or lingering menace (with the first two cuts), meditation in inner space ("Der Wald"), and even whatever is happening to me in the stark "infinity cathedral" I go to while listening to "November 89."