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GAS: Box

The reissue of selected works from Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS project comes, like its 2008 predecessor Nah Und Fern, in the form of a carefully curated box set. Featured albums include ‘Zauberberg’, ‘Königsforst’ and ‘Pop’, plus the ‘Oktember‘ EP – described by Kompakt as “the core GAS albums … the records that introduced the project’s trademark sound between Schönberg and Kraftwerk, Wagner and the bassdrum”.

Wolfgang Voigt’s first two releases as GAS – ‘Modern’ EP on Profan (1995) and his self-titled album (1996) released on Mille Plateaux – have been omitted in the interests of consistency: those records sound quite different, relying more on synthesised and original sounds than the sampled classical music which forms the basis for the work featured on GAS Box.

The albums come with extended edits, and superior sound quality is guaranteed thanks to the pressing of each album onto no less than three disks; also included is a collection of fine-art photography that builds upon the original GAS artwork – images from the Königsforst forest around Voigt’s hometown of Cologne that complement the unstructured nature of the music through their defiance of any certain orientation.

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All of this would seem to indicate that GAS Box constitutes a new stage in the lifecycle of a project whose author is still concerned with the achievement of a certain vision, yet upon first hearing that Kompakt were to release another GAS compilation I was sceptical: was Voigt really going to repackage this project yet again, seemingly for the collectors and at a cost prohibitive to many listeners?

On the surface it seemed like an easy way to turn a profit whilst simultaneously pushing the music into ever more canonical territory. In the course of writing this review, however, I have come to the altogether more appealing conclusion outlined earlier: GAS is a project in flux, appropriately matching the ethereal nature of the music itself, and with this latest effort Kompakt have created a refined take on Voigt’s grand vision.

Where necessary the fat has been trimmed, whilst other ideas have been explored in greater depth; in regards to the price of the box-set of €119 (excluding shipping) may seem like a lot, but when you consider that it buys you three triple LPs, one 12”, four CDs and a book of photography it actually seems quite reasonable. Conveniently arriving in time for Christmas it may be, but a run-of the-mill greatest GAS hits it is not.

GAS BOX is scheduled for release 28th October 2016. Order a copy from Kompakt.

TRACKLIST

GAS – ZAUBERBERG
1/A – Zauberberg 1
2/B – Zauberberg 2
3/C – Zauberberg 3
4/D1 – Zauberberg 4
5/D2 – Zauberberg 5
6/E – Zauberberg 6
7/F – Zauberberg 7

GAS – KOENIGSFORST
1/A – Koenigsforst 1
2/B – Koenigsforst 2
3/C1 – Koenigsforst 3
4/C2 – Koenigsforst 4
5/D – Koenigsforst 5
6/E – Koenigsforst 6
7/F1 – Koenigsforst 7
8/F2 – Koenigsforst 8

GAS – POP
1/A1 – Pop 1
2/A2 – Pop 2
3/B – Pop 3
4/C – Pop 4
5/D – Pop 5
6/E – Pop 6
7/F – Pop 7

GAS – OKTEMBER
1/A – Tal 90
2/B – Oktembe

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