It’s not right to say that Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS project sounds timeless, because it certainly is tied into certain technological eras and bears an appreciable relationship to techno, but it can apparently skip a generation between albums and not feel like anything has changed. Gobsmackingly, Pop, what seemed very much to be the fourth of four GAS records, came out 17 years ago.
It appears on the surface that little has changed on Narkopop. Voigt’s music is again beautiful, distant, impressionistic. The level of static throughout suggests either a ninth-generation cassette dub or potential for catastrophically loud jump in volume, although that never occurs. What is actually taking place in the melodic passages is typically difficult to discern: are they loops, or meanders, or careful constructions? Nothing happening in the space above the distinctly earthbound kick drum feels quite solid, and again, Voigt’s nom de plume feels ever more apt.
When Eno “invented” ambient music, or at least codified it, his liner notes for Music For Airports stated that the music should be “as ignorable as it is interesting”, and Narkopop fits that bill, as frankly do all the GAS releases. It’s a record that’s all sensation, and precious little signifier. The variations are so subtle that it’s difficult to know what part of Voigt’s darkened forest you’re stumbling, running, dancing or dreaming through, which, I guess, is ultimately the point.
Like this? Try these:
Tim Hecker – Harmony In Ultraviolet
Fennesz – Venice
Stars of the Lid – The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid
Words – Ian Lamont