Just out today is Rausch (Kompakt) the newest in a long-running series of records by Cologne-based Gas (aka Wolfgang Voigt) on double LP (sold out) Digital + CD. As co-founder of the imprint, Voight has released countless recordings over the last two plus decades, but his most resilient and cerebral project is back with a new symphonic feel. In fact, it’s hard to believe that this is only the sixth record he’s delivered under this guise as the sound is emblematic of a lot of followers within the scope of dark ambient, drone and the unlikely in-between. This hour-long set includes seven tracks that merge into each other with a determined fervor, and keen instrumentation.
Though not a complete departure from last year’s Narkopop, the attitude seems much more en guard as the big bass beat drives forward. A bell is most certainly tolling in our most conspicuous times and this captures an uneasy angst, rather than offering a sleep concert – though this is trance inducing in points. But the biggest distinction is that the tranquil has led into a heavier, more barren soundscape with a very live sound. There’s a lot going on within Rausch 4, random actions both minimal and ragged. The record plays on this delicate balance of softened drone hues and layers of field recordings. Floating into Rausch 5 with its muted, subtextual dance rhythm that sounds as if its coming up from downstairs, through the floorboards.
Blending easily into the next tracks the echo trail follows as the beat is washed out. There’s a whole heck of gray-area on Rausch, it’s duly industrial and ambient. The cover art invoking a spirit of nature, changing, in repetition, losing its form factor. This riddance of tradition is evident here, monitoring the ecosphere as it’s modified in real-time. There is a forlorn sense of desolation that’s quite cavernous within these vinyl grooves. But when it comes to the finale, the cycle revs in a grande collision between silky violin, a truncated dance beat and that same circular drone playing endlessly into oblivion.