Nah und Fern
Between 1996 and 2000, Wolfgang Voigt, one of the founders of the Kompakt label, released four albums on Mille Plateaux under the alias Gas. Those albums — Gas, Zauberberg, Königsforst, and Pop — are collected in this four-CD box, with slight alterations, particularly to the debut. On that album, the first and third tracks are new, and the fourth is a remix of the original. Also, track six of Zauberberg, originally 7:23, now runs 11:05. Gas music has a kind of endless quality; its components are hiss, drone, vinyl crackle as compositional element (mixed to sound like rain on your window), and a steadily thumping beat nestled deep in the mix so it feels like it’s coming through the floor from someone else’s apartment. There’s little to no evolution from one album to the next; this collection is best appreciated as a solid and consistent body of work, so if you’re on board with its virtues and its unique beauty, you can just let it wash over you for four and a half hours.