Sunday A.M. Radio: Gas and Edible Chrysanthemums

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t really wake up at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning and drive into the Fly offices to write these posts. Usually, this post is one of the last things I do on a Friday afternoon before I leave for the weekend. And this Friday it’s been raining pretty steadily all day and I’ve been listening to the music of Gas – the electronic/ambient project from German-based musician Wolfgang Voigt.

Gas is the perfect low-key soundtrack to a rainy day, because the music sounds like it was created in an outdoor recording studio somewhere in the Black Forest of Germany as sheets of rain filter through the canopy of trees overhead. In fact, incorporating the sounds of the forest is one of the aims of Voigt’s project.

The music of Gas utilizes ambient nature sounds, instrumental loops and techno drums. This morning I was listening to 1999’s “Konigsforst,” which marries the two concepts of techno and atmospheric ambient music very well. It sounds like you’re living in a noisy apartment building and your neighbor to the left is a hardcore techno fan. The drums from his techno music bleed through your walls. And your neighbor to the right is cranking Brian Eno and Robert Fripp while vacuuming his apartment. And you just sit in your room as the sounds filter through your walls. (Actually, I wish my neighbors would do this for me.)

It’s easy to imagine ’90s club kids coming down from MDMA highs to “Koningsforst.” The pounding techno drums matching their heart rates, but the mellow ambient sounds matching their moods.

But my favorite Gas album is 2000’s “Pop.” It’s a much calmer record. The electro sounds are still there but they sound as if they are coming from miles away.

As of Friday afternoon, the forecast for Sunday (today) calls for rain, so “Pop” is the perfect choice for your chill Sunday morning.

A few weeks ago, we explored Lancaster County by sound with the Lancaster Sound Map, which uses found sounds to paint a picture of our community. This week, check out a track from Japanese artist Seiho’s latest album, “Collapse,” released last month on Leaving Records. Seiho seeks to create his own brand of downtempo electronica using found sounds. Here’s “Edible Chrysanthemum”:

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Posted in Articles, Sunday A.M. Radio

Mike Andrelczyk is a features editor for Fly Magazine. He is a graduate of Penn State University and currently lives with his wife Stacey in Strasburg. Interests include tennis, playing bad guitar, poetry (poems have appeared in Modern Haiku, The Inquisitive Eater and other journals) and oneirology – the study of dreams – mostly in the form of afternoon naps. His name appears in the title screen of Major League 2.

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