There have been several ambient classics that have reissued a new album this year, a style that always gives the sensation of being one of the subgenres of electronics to which less attention is paid, even though it has emerged key figures for contemporary popular music. In the present case, 2017 was the year of the return of Wolfgang Voigt, better known as Gas, one of the touchstones of the environmental music of the last two decades.
Nothing more and nothing less than 17 years have been those that the German has been without giving birth to a new length. The last one was Pop (Mille Plateaux, 2000). This course has finally returned with Narkopop (Kompakt, 2017) and it also does for the first time with the long debut in the prestigious seal of which is one of the founders, Kompakt.
The return of a fundamental piece of the contemporary ambient
Music is the only vehicle that transmits the landscapes and travel that Gas puts at his service. Perhaps you have to understand at least the title of the album as a reinterpretation of his previous and acclaimed album, in a much darker key. If the cover of Pop was its ambient and the field recordings during the day, Narkopop is the nocturnal reverse. But in reality, it is nothing more than a partial return to the muscle of previous jobs (and something else). That is good news, since the German continues to pull long developments carved in great detail and which are entering layers surgically, exfoliated directly from his genius.
Narkopop brings that balance between nature and the organic sound for which he always bet, with dense mists that corner you in the forests of its covers. Although there is a difference of patterns among his different works, and this is a rocker in the middle of all, his return after so much time knows as well as expected. Few play like him with his characteristic organic and volatile sound, the almost imperceptible drums and a number of nuances that fly over the melodic lines he draws, which this time are more than ever.
More edges and details to mark a disk full of nuances
During the disc, he combines these cuts with extreme ornamentation with themes that are simply pure glory as ‘Narkopop 5’, with the most imperial Gas that comes to a greater or lesser extent in each of his LPs. And this is a real gem, a sign of why he is a key figure in the contemporary ambient and an example to see where people drink like Jannick Schou. Or with the high saturation of the sound and that swollen atmosphere of ‘Narkopop 7’ we can see where The Field has also drunk. In short, it is a review of his career, this time with a symphony much more loaded with sound edges, And a return in which to identify in several of his songs the reference that has supposed for other important names or keys of the ambient of today.
While during the entire album he jumps to the fore those sensations narcotics that define his idea, the second part is a festival of bass, dense sounds and muscle to exhibit. An irrefutable proof of the wide range of resources and creativity with which he continues to count despite having been so long without rescuing this alias for a long reference. And of course, he dismisses us with ‘Narkopop 10’, a long journey with that bass line of background along with a fine percussion that gives body to the upper layers in which it injects that gas that defines it. That is a return to the height of the myth.
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