Release Date: Nov 18, 2016
Record label: Kompakt
Genre(s): Electronic, Techno, Experimental Techno, Ambient Techno, IDM
Wolfgang Voigt has ADHD. "As a child I didn't go to the kindergarten because I felt disturbed by all the noise of other children," he told Dr. Chris Dooks in a 2015 interview. "It was the same later in school. I hated to go there." He didn't know it at the time, but these were early symptoms of ….
Earlier this summer, a story began to circulate about “Shinrin-yoku,” a coinage created by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the early ‘80s that basically translates as “forest bathing. ” It’s not hiking or trail exploring per se (nor is it, as the name might suggest, stripping naked and bathing in a pile of leaves), so much as it is a meditation that provide its bathers “an opportunity to slow down, appreciate things that can only be seen or heard when one is moving slowly,” as one guide put it. He expects it to be a trend not unlike yoga in the future.
In 2008, the electronic music label Kompakt released a GAS box set named Nah Und Fern and it was an inspired move. Kompakt co-founder Wolfgang Voigt recorded four albums and two EPs under the GAS moniker between 1995 and 2000, establishing a brief but brilliant legacy of tantric ambient techno music that eventually paved the way for the German label’s future glories. Nah Und Fern, a box containing all four full-length GAS releases, garnered near perfect reviews and even moved PopMatters’s own Ian Mathers to question the need for a rating system in music criticism.
The fact that Wolfgang Voigt only recorded under his Gas moniker between 1995 and 2000 is remarkable for two reasons: one, that he was able to release so much captivating and groundbreaking music in such a short period of time; and two, that he was able to predict so well the direction that electronic music would head in the subsequent decade. Following the near-essential 2008 box set Nah und Fern, which collected all four Gas full-lengths (with some unfortunate edits), Voigt once again repackages part of his discography with the sprawling 24-track set Box. Although Box oddly and quite disappointingly omits Voigt's 1995 Modern EP and 1996 self-titled debut, the vinyl version adds in tracks that were previously unavailable in the format, along with the inclusion of 1999's Oktember EP and the hard-to-find "Tal 90" single.
Dust Vol. 2, No. 21Rob Noyes photo by Lindsay MetivierFor our final Dust of the year, our writers attacked their to-do lists with unusual force, as we all made an effort to finish off 2016 with a clean slate. The result is one of our longest and most varied round-ups ever. Bill Meyer, Ian Mathers ….