GAS Live at Recombinant Festival 2018

Opening night of the 2018 Recombinant Festival brings us Wolfgang Voigt aka GAS.

He will be joined by fellow Cologne artist Marcus Schmickler and San Francisco based selector Topazu.

All Ages
Cash bar for 21+
Seated performance

Two Shows
6PM ( Early Show, Tickets still available)
9PM (Late show, Sold Out)

Launching the Festival is GAS live, the internationally celebrated project of German electronic musician, Kompakt label head and industry stalwart Wolfgang Voigt. One of the most influential figures in contemporary electronic music, Voigt is known for over 30 aliases and projects - his most admired is arguably GAS. The intention in his own words is to "bring the forest to the disco, or vice-versa”.

Experience a rare multimedia performance from GAS; drawing on romantic landscape and classical music as much as ambient minimalism and techno, Voigt creates an uplifting and enveloping evocation of the wonder of the natural world. Don’t miss this captivating kaleidoscope of swirling sounds and textures.

Artist Bio

GAS (Wolfgang Voigt)

Wolfgang Voigt, born in 1961 in Cologne, Germany, is an artist, music producer, label owner and one of the co-founders of the Cologne-based electronica and techno label Kompakt.

Grown up and socialized in the pop sub-culture of the 1970s and 1980s, Voigt has developed his own art and sound that cross genres, mixing music styles such as glam rock, pop, jazz, classic, punk, and new wave, and art movements such as pop art and the Neue Wilde (the ‘New Wild Ones’). In the late 1980s, he caught acid house fever, and since then Voigt has committed himself uncompromisingly to the straight (techno music) bass drum.

Inspired by the minimalist structures of this music, Voigt works around the most diverse facets of his own ideas of subversive concept disco music. He understands this kind of contemporary music as a non-verbal, international musical language in which origin, status, or rock-stardom are no longer relevant. Voigt’s contribution to the various global techno ‘dialects’ (Chicago, Detroit, Berlin, Frankfurt…) is Cologne minimal techno, of which he is considered to be the most important pioneer. Working under many different project names and pseudonyms (e.g. Mike Ink, Studio1, M:I:5, GAS, Love Inc., Freiland, Wassermann…), Wolfgang Voigt has continuously varied his own, unmistakable music style from the onset of the 1990s, spanning the spectrum from creating experimental and unusual hybrids by combining elements of techno with German Schlager and folk music, to pioneering, austere minimalistic concept techno series such as Studio1, a series that was limited to 10 vinyl releases, the cover of each bearing a plain color design without any text.

In 1996, his pop techno album Love Inc. - Life’s a Gas based on historical pop citations (samples), was named ‘Album of the Year’ by the renowned music magazine Spex. His project GAS, an intoxicatingly sinister work of sound art based on highly condensed classical sound sources, thrilled a global audience far beyond the traditional electronica and techno music scenes. By combining abstract nature sounds with strings and brass alongside GAS’s minimalist cover designs incorporating photographs he took in the forest, Voigt shows his strong affinity for Romanticism and portrays the forest as a mysterious or melancholic place. The accompanying text reads: “GAS fantasizes about a sound body ranging somewhere between Schönberg and Kraftwerk, between bugle and bass drum. GAS is Wagner in the guise of glam rock, Hansel and Gretel on acid. An endless march through the undergrowth—into the disco—of an imaginary, misty forest.”

In the 1990s, techno music and its ‘Cologne Minimal Variation’ achieved worldwide success. The underground record store founded in 1993 by Voigt and friends, emerged as an internationally renowned hotspot of the techno movement and a flourishing place for record productions by in-house or like-minded artists from all over the world. In 1997, in order to offer a broader, independent platform for an ever growing number of amazing music releases, the record store grew into a new independent label, Kompakt, with its own distribution, publishing and artist/booking agencies. During this period that Voigt calls, “the art of making business”, he started focusing on Kompakt’s artistic mise en scène and design, developing the label into a distinctive and internationally renowned brand.

In 2003 Kompakt moved into a spacious residential and office building located in downtown Cologne, and the idea of an independent ‘cultural factory’, very much in the spirit of Warhol’s Factory, turned from vision to reality.

Since 2007, Voigt has shifted his focus back to his own projects again. Having always been working at the interface between art and music, he now merges the two disciplines in a mutually enriching way in specific projects.

Two fundamental approaches, through innumerable variations, characterize Voigt’s music and artwork. The first: the loop principle—the static or varying repetition of minimalist, repetitive structures which generate specific patterns. The structure of computer-based music production and associated software clearly and strongly influences this artistic concept, reflected in Voigt’s body of art and music. The second: the abstract deforming and condensing of external resources, i.e. the sampling of different sounds or images reduced to their original basic structure, their raw aesthetics, in a certain sense their (hypothetical) liberation, and transferred into a new context—a process that Voigt calls “Entdeutung”, i.e. de-significaton.

When choosing the ‘raw material’ for his work, Voigt lets himself be inspired by his tastes, preferences, spontaneous moods, or certain kinds of coincidences. While these ‘resources’ disappear most of the time during processing, their unnoticeable, hidden presence nevertheless remains essential for him. Wolfgang Voigt has rules he follows. However, because he often locates this ‘certain something’ he was initially searching for not at the place where he thought it to be, but in its surroundings, he continuously breaks these rules during the creative process by employing different improvisational techniques, resulting in intentional variations and coincidences.

While Voigt often cannot or does not want to resist the attraction of extreme abstraction, he nevertheless respects the clear rules of a 4/4 beat, the three-minute pop song, and last but not least the serial patterns found on industrially produced wallpaper.

Always driven by a refusal to be categorized, Voigt imbues his body of work with a high degree of complexity, volatility, and ambiguity. As a ‘fast and prolific producer’, he unleashes his creativity in intense creative phases at regular intervals, the result of which are Voigt’s characteristic series (the Serial Principle), often distinguishable only by their album covers’ colors, or just consecutively numbered (e.g. Studio1-10, Freiland, Rückverzauberung, Tetrapack, Z.O.M., etc.).

Partners

Recombinant Media Labs

RECOMBINANT MEDIA LABS (RML) was founded in 1991 by Naut Humon, to research and deploy the cultural qualities and artistic potential of Spatial Cinema and music mediated electro-acoustic surround sound. RML acts as producer, propagator, and presenter of substantive intermodal artworks for its panoramic performance platform the CineChamber. The Recombinant Festival is an annual autumn event series in SF  that showcases international immersive residencies from RML’s nomadic network ; Co-presenters have been Gray Area and Obscura Digital.

Obscura Digital

Obscura is an alliance of artists and technologists who are pioneering the future of multidimensional sensory experiences. From our beginning, we set convention aside to create entirely new encounters with light, image, sound, and motion. Our team shares a passion for inventing the uninvented, for exploring ways that technology can enable awe-inspiring moments. Our creativity is inseparable from our ingenuity. We were among the first to develop technologies that deliver unprecedented interactivity. Our exploration has led to multitouch screens, complex architectural mapping, 360-degree surround projections, and beyond.