If you’ve been following the site pretty faithfully you know that LSD had a HUGE impact on almost every single facet of my life. It changed the way I looked at music, film, and art in general. By deconstructing reality, I learned so much about the inner workings of the human experience and why we love to create. As a writer and musician myself, I decided that it would be a good idea to ask some of my favorite artists about their own personal experiences in regards to both their craft and psychedelics. Ultimately, that's why I started the website in the first place. To get to the source of where creativity emanates and find any patterns should they exist.
I first discovered Wolfgang Voigt via this article and decided that I should check him out. I listened to his album “Pop” ( under the name Gas) in it’s entirety and quickly found myself stunned by his work. I looked for anything there was to hear from his Gas catalogue and noticed that his work was a little more than “just” music to me. It “spoke” to me in a way and was the perfect companion for reading, ruminating and of course, tripping. It is completely wordless, but yet it was still saying so much. I looked into his background a little bit and sure enough, I found that he had done LSD as well. I knew at that point, that I had to speak with him somehow.
Wolfgang was born in Cologne, Germany and is considered as one of the most influential artists in the country’s Minimal Techno scene. He, along with his brother and some contemporaries owned a record store that later became the independent record label, Kompakt, to which he is still an owner of. He has been producing for decades now under several different monikers after being inspired at an early age by the works of other artists like Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, Roy Black, and Miles Davis. His catalogue is MASSIVE and i’ve only been able to get through a few of his side projects. I wanted to do a podcast interview, but he prefers to do print and online interviews via email. He was nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to do the first print interview for Inside the Rift! Hope you guys enjoy!
Prox: Tell us your story. How did you get into production and what started off your love for dance music? How long have you been producing? Did you have any musical training before you started producing electronica?
Wolfgang: My awakening for musical pop-subculture happened at the age of 10, when I heard Marc Bolan / T.Rex – Hot Love. I played different instruments in bands in the seventies/eighties. I have no certain academic musical education.
Prox: Are there any musician(s) that inspired you to get into production when you first began?
Wolfgang: Roy Black, Kraftwerk, Miles Davis, Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, Johann-Sebastian Bach, Arnold Schoenberg, Scritti Politti, Prefab Sprout, Phuture.
Prox: What are some out your favorite genres outside of Minimal House/Techno?
Wolfgang: German Schlager, Pop, Punk, New Wave, Jazz, Classical Music, Acid House, Gabber.
Prox: What software(s) and hardware do you use?
Prox: Your music is very atmospheric, do you have a love for or background in ambient listening or production?
Wolfgang: I found out about my fascination for a certain kind of psychedelic ambient deepness when I listened to Klaus Schulze at the age of 14.
Prox: What are some of your hobbies outside of music production?
Wolfgang: I don’t have any hobbies apart from life.
Prox: What is your favorite song or album from your entire catalogue?
Wolfgang: I don’t want to name any special favorites. More or less, I love and hate them all in the same way.
Prox: I read somewhere that your experiences with LSD in Germany’s Konigforst had a tremendous effect on your music. Could you please describe those experiences? Did you continue to use LSD (or any other psychedelic drugs) as you got older or was it something you left behind in your teenage years?
Wolfgang: I had a very strong fascination for the mountains and the forest (Konigsforst) since I was a child. I made a lot of psychedelic and artistic experiments to get closer and deeper into it. I found out that I have a natural born “LSD-fantasy” in me. It was a teenage experience which takes effect for a lifetime. My main insight is that i don’t need any additional drugs to create art or music, but sometimes it helps to bring it out. All my artistic visions, fantasy, and ideas are inherent and have been there since I was born.
Prox: My absolute favorite album from your Gas catalogue is Pop. The fourth song on the album is wonderful and it was one of the first songs I listened to during my first experience with LSD. Could you describe your creative process for the album and that song?
Wolfgang: I never go into the studio without having any certain idea/concept/sound in mind. I’m not just improvising and seeing what happens. As a concept artist, I have to be clear and I follow certain rules and artistic concepts. The best creative moments are when you break these rules and forget them while you are always aware of them, so it was with Gas - Pop.
Prox: Can we expect to see another Gas release in the near future?
Wolfgang: Who knows?
Prox: What is some advice you’d give future dance and minimal techno producers or producers in general?
Wolfgang: Less is more.
Prox: Final Thoughts?
Wolfgang: You are never to old not to know what you do.
You can check out Wolfgang’s follow up project to his Gas work along with his paintings and other music here.
Have ideas for my next post or other artists you’d like me to interview?
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