Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, New Age, Pop
Listen to Samples
No Surprises Here
firstname.lastname@example.org | Columbus, Ohio | 04/13/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Koenigsforst is my third CD by Gas -- perhaps that is all there is (the others being Gas: S/T and Gas: Zauberberg). Once again, Gas delivers a top-notch CD of total head-music. A muffled thumping bass underpins all of the tracks which consist mainly of moody synth washes and a layer of cruntchy, crackling surface noise to add texture. This is truly dark, hypnotic stuff and consistently lulls this listener into a deep state of concentration. Fans of the Chain Reaction label know that of which I speak. Zauberberg is still my favorite by a smidgeon; however, Koenigsforst never strays far from the standard Gas magic. Check it out."
Mike Newmark | Tarzana, CA United States | 06/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The music of Gas (aka Wolfgang Voigt, in one of his great many guises) has always resonated strongest on an illustrative level. That is to say, it's much more apt to describe it in terms of what images it evokes and how well it evokes them rather than examine its artistic merit. Indeed, Gas's music transcends criticism; All Music Guide treats each Gas review not as a traditional critique but as a chance to embark on a unique, otherworldly, and transcendent musical journey. It sounds fishy, and more than a little facile, but one listen to the lush, utterly hypnotic soundscapes of Gas and you'll gladly pack your belongings and join in on the exploration.
To listen to this music is to drop immediately into a shimmering, highly cinematic universe. Sound moves around you, effortlessly pouring into your brain, weaving in and out as the textures subtly shift. You could be anywhere-on a mountain, underneath the ocean, in a forest-but wherever you might ends up carries the feeling of something weighty and profound. With Gas's self-titled first CD in 1997, we are dropped instantly into an enchanted forest (say), admiring the greenery, the moisture in the air and the light of the sun on the leaves. Zauberberg (Gas's sophomore effort) leads us sinisterly into a bad part of the forest, just as it's getting dark (aw, rats), the haunting strings reflecting a frightening, disturbing setting. If Zauberberg took us into the part of the woods we hoped we wouldn't venture into, then Königsforst (translated, literally and quite aptly, as "King Forest") finds us in that very spot with a broken compass and a dead tour guide. In other words, Königsforst borrows the treated minor-key string arrangements of Zauberberg, with an even more claustrophobic aura and an upped element of paranoia.
The album begins with a pair of typical Gas masterpieces-"Eins" and "Zwei" ("One" and "Two", ha ha)-that pick up pretty much where Zauberberg left off. "Eins" is mystical, heavy and soothing all at once, and the muffled, incessant bass thump makes it almost club-worthy. "Zwei" is filled with rich, dark strings that fade in and out in hallucinogenic fashion, evoking images of a turbulent nighttime sky (as I said, it's nearly impossible to describe Gas's music without conjuring images; listen and choose your own), spilling over into "Drei" and adding strings genuinely eerie and foreboding. This cluster of songs, which work nicely as one very long fever dream, represents an undeniable zenith in Gas's discography, and that's saying a lot.
Afterwards, however, the album veers a bit off course. Since any Gas album scores points for how evocative it is, the latter half of Königsforst manages to eat a few up. "Vier" is actually a carbon-copy of one part of "Zwei", with a too-fast-to-bob-your-head-to beat thrown in; very silly, considering that Gas only averages about six tracks per album, so it's crucial that he make every one count. The medieval-sounding "Funf" may conjure stone fortresses and massive trees (anything massive, really), but it's just not subtle enough to allow your mind to mingle within the sounds and textures. "Sechs" picks things back up somewhat, with a deep and honey-sweet string background, but the shuffling two-note melody (are those bagpipes?) in the far distance distracts rather than hypnotizes.
All of this makes for a slight droop in quality from his previous work, but not by much. Königsforst is ultimately a similar, slightly lesser brother of Zauberberg, trance-inducing in some spots, downright unsettling in others. When "Drei" seeps through the speakers the album hits a paranoid peak, arguably trumping even the most hair-raising dronescapes of Zauberberg. Some eyebrows will be raised (especially during "Vier", a pointless inclusion), and this may be the first ever disc in Gas's catalogue to not realize its full potential. But-to beat this dead horse one last time-the highly visual, highly textural worlds created by the best moments of Königsforst ensure that Gas remains at the very top of ambient music-making.
TangerineDreamFiend | MI | 05/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This unique album is almost a daily listen for me. Like zauberberg but a bit lighter in mood. I often play this album while the stormy sky starts to darken then switch to zauberberg. Just listen to the samples this might appeal to ambient fans or minimal techno fans."