Switched on – GAS: Oktember (Kompakt)

What’s the story?

This second EP from Wolfgang Voigt‘s GAS project actually dates from 1999, when it was released on Mille Plateaux, but now it has been ‘transferred’ to his home Kompakt label. There are only two tracks but half an hour of music, released in part to offer some comfort in isolation.

What’s the music like?

This is music for mindfulness. Tal 90, the first track, feels like it is played on vinyl, with the reassuring clicks and scratches serving as a background to Voigt’s fuzzy overall sound. His concept is orchestral, with serene violins high in the mix and a soft but majestic line for horn. There are no drums but the music floats in suspension, resulting in a comforting feeling for the listener.

The second track Oktember is much darker and denser, and has an immediately subtle menace to its sound. The steady tread of a four to the floor rhythm underpins thick, brooding chords, which are still strangely comforting despite their straight-faced approach.

Does it all work?

It does. GAS is an incredibly well-revered project and in all recent ambient music it remains one of the most recognisable styles. Time really does stand still when Voigt finds the right level of musical hypnosis, and Oktember finds him towards top form.

Is it recommended?

Yes – and if fans don’t already have it they will want to snap up these two recordings. They work particularly well as early morning or late night balm.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.