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Wolfgang Voigt’s pioneering ambient techno gets an anthology box set

Wolfgang Voigt performing as Gas (Photo: Caroline Hayeur)

One of the most important figures in the electronic music realm, both in and behind the scene, Wolfgang Voigt has released more than 150 albums under dozens of aliases since the 1990s, while also co-founding the estimable Kompakt label (home of The Field and the long-running Total and Pop Ambient series). Of all his many monikers, the best known is Gas, under which Voigt released a series of albums and EPs in the ’90s that buried minimal techno beats beneath hazy, LSD-inspired textures and fogged-out Wagner samples, creating a uniquely drifting, hypnagogic sound that touched on both Brian Eno-inspired ambience and the Basic Channel dub techno scene in nearby Berlin. You can still hear echoes of his sound today in artists like Actress, Andy Stott, and Tim Hecker, but you’d be hard-pressed to find the actual albums themselves, as they’ve been out of print for years. Until now.

GAS BOX, billed as Kompakt’s “most ambitious and comprehensive release in our history,” arrives October 28, collecting four major Gas works originally issued on Mille Plateaux: Zauberberg (celebrating its 20th anniversary next year); 1998’s Königsfort; 2000’s Pop; and 1999’s Oktember 12-inch. The set consists of 10 LPS—with each album spread across 3 LPs rather than the original 2xLP pressing to accommodate longer edits—and it comes with four CDs, plus an art book featuring processed photos of the Königsfort forest near Cologne that so inspired Voigt.


GAS BOX isn’t cheap: While Kompakt hasn’t officially announced a price yet, the preorder on Boomkat will set you back £125.49 (around $165). But considering much of this material hasn’t been available since 2008’s Nah Und Fern compilation—long out of print and going for insane prices on Discogs—and it’s some of the greatest ambient music you will ever hear, electronic music fans may decide it’s worth it.

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