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Gas (3LP)

Label: Kompakt

Format: LPx3

Genre: Electronic

Preorder: August 23


Kompakt is proud to announce, finally, a reissue of the first, self-titled GAS album. Originally released on electronica imprint Mille Plateaux back in 1996, it’s been unavailable in its original form ever since – the version of GAS included in 2008’s Nah Und Fern box featured several different tracks. Here, however, GAS is restored in all its glory, the debut full-length from Wolfgang Voigt’s most enigmatic, quixotic project. There had, of course, been signs of what was to come. Back in 1995, Voigt essayed the first GAS release, a slender, yet remarkable four-track EP, Modern. Its centre label featured a reduced symbol – an overhead or lamp light, switched on, its glow radiating outwards in four bold black lines – a perfect representation of the tight, stylised ambient electronic pop contained on that 12”. A few curious compilation tracks were floating around, too, for Mille Plateaux’s Modulation & Transformation and Electric Ladyland series. If you were attentive enough, you could tell something was up.

But nothing quite prepared us for the languorous, effervescing loops and regular-like-clockwork beats that Voigt folded together on GAS. Its six long tracks, all untitled, neither begin nor end but hazily fade into earshot, vibrate majestically in your cochlea for fifteen-or-so minutes – some a bit shorter, some longer – and then meander away, reading the mise-en-scène for the next example of Voigt’s drift and dream logic to unfold. The material is referential in the most distant way, and you can sense only the most evanescent of ghostly presences, haunting these six compositions.

GAS feels, also, like a more pliable hint at what’s to come, as the GAS concept really solidified on its successor, 1997’s Zauberberg, and reach its apotheosis on Königsforst and Pop. Those three albums share a very similar palette – blurred, hazy samples, often of classical music, stacked and cross-thatched across a muted 4/4 thud. GAS, then, is an outlier of sorts: it’s more expansive in its remit, lighter in its mood, perhaps more fleet of foot. This, of course, is part of its charm.

In clearing space for Voigt, by preparing the terrain, GAS sits both at the edge of the forest, and at the verge of an expansive, wide-eyed future; one where GAS would become truly eternal.

Text by Jonathan Dale 

Cat. number: Kompakt 491
Year: 2024

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