Review: On the back of Kompakt's expansive retrospective of his work under the Gas alias, the essential Box, Wolfgang Voigt has decided to deliver a new album - his first for 17 years. Predictably, Narkopop is as cinematic, widescreen and densely layered as anything the German ambient producer has done to date. Over 11 spellbinding tracks, Voigt blends field recordings and droning electronics with sweeping, almost orchestral movements, swirling melodic cycles, and occasional forays into rhythmic hypnotism. The result is a collection of "wall of sound" ambient compositions that does a terrific job tiptoeing the fine lines between both grandiosity and intimacy, and joy and pain. In a word: essential.
Review: Nobody quite does ambient music like Kompakt label boss Wolfgang Voigt. With an illustrious discography spanning three decades, producing under such aliases as Mike Ink, Wassermann, Freiland or House To House - it is under the Gas alias where he now presents his sixth album: Rausch. It is intended to be heard as a whole from beginning to end, with Voigt's signature brooding symphonies creating a lush landscape over nefarious, almost dystopian atmospherics - of course building altogether to a massive climax. It's yet another awe-inspiring chapter in Voigt's collection of sonic narratives. The album will premiere live in his hometown at the Cologne Philharmonie on May 9th, followed by a global tour of the project.
Review: Sub-Division continues pushing the new generation of artists and sounds with this epic VA album featuring a whole load of hybrids and fusions from a barrage of exciting new talent. Highlights are left, right and centre but essential picks include Guzi's twisted flip on the stepper sound with the grizzly 'Continuum', Sinexia's savage, stripped-back 'HND' and a whole range of cuts from the fast-rising Shayper including the rifle-like war talk of 'Keep In Line' (with Amplify) Elsewhere pure futurism drips off every dark nook and crannie of Guzi & Woolf's 'Intimidate', Niterider & Warhead's 'No Way In' is a raw, unkempt slab of rolling grot and Herby's 'Next Stop' is the sonic equivalent of a swarm of hornets - and its buzzing around in your brain. This is just the tip of the 'Partitions' iceberg... Dig deep and find many more highlights yourself.