Key Commands
 - Wolfgang Voigt

Bio:

1961 in Cologne, Wolfgang Voigt is born under the sign of Aquarius. At the age of ten, he comes to the conclusion: Marc Bolan and Winnetou have more educational authority than his primary school teacher, and he sets off on his life’s journey through the magic land of pop culture. At an early age, he already irritates his musical companions with his liberal and mercurial way of creative thinking, e.g. by developing a liking for both punk and the Bee Gees at the same time. At the age of 18, under the influence of „Sex and Drugs and Rock’n Roll“, Voigt is playing his young wild heart out. He starts creating his very own artistic world out of a blend of Dadaist brass music and a neo-romantic world of fairy tale images. In the late 80ies, after a long emotional rollercoaster ride through the sentiments of pop, jazz, classic, punk, new wave, traditional popular German music, glamrock, and back again, Voigt is freed, almost over night, from the ageing 80ies Pop by Acid House, and he loses his heart to the straight bass drum.Inspired by the minimalist structures of this musik and the degree of creative freedom and intensity, previously unknown in the world of pop music, Voigt starts working feverishly on the most diverse of facets of his own ideas of subversive concept disco music. Voigt understands the music of these times as a non- verbal, international musical language in which origins, status, or rockstardom, are no longer of relevance. Voigt’s contribution to the various global „dialects“ (Chicago, Detroit, Berlin, Frank- furt...) is the Cologne minimal techno, of which he is considered to be the most important pioneer. Working under numerous pseudonyms (Mike Ink, Studio1, Gas, Love Inc., Freiland, Wassermann, Grungerman...), Wolfgang Voigt continuously varies his own, unmistakable style of music from the onset of the nineties. Some of his musical projects and series are considered seminal by experts. His project Studio1 for example, a limited edition series limited to ten vinyl releases with covers differing only in colour, without lyrics, is considered one of the most distinctive pioneer labels of the strictly formalistic and minimalistic concept techno, worldwide. In the year 1996, his pop techno album „Love Inc. – Life’s a Gas“, based on historical pop citations (samples) is rated Album of the Year by the renowned music magazin Spex.But above all, his project GAS - an intoxicatingly sinister work of sound-art based on highly con- densed classical sound sources - delighted a global audience far beyond the electronic and techno scene. The four albums created in the 90ies, GAS, Konigsforst, Zauberberg and Pop, were re-released in 2008 as 4CD box under his Cologne-based label Kompakt under the title „Nah und Fern“ (Near and Far). At the same time, the book “Wolfgang Voigt - GAS“ is published by the Berlin label Raster No- ton. It illustrates, as comprehenisvely as never before, the pictorial side of the GAS project in sixty highly aestheticised forest photos. The accompanying text reads: „GAS fantasizes about a sound body ranging somewhere between Schonberg and Kraftwerk, between bugle and bass drum. GAS is Wagner as Glamrock, Hansel and Gretel on Acid. An endless march through the undergrowth – into the disco – of an imaginary, misty forest“. It has always been Voigt’s dream to bring the forest into the disco, i.e. put GAS on stage. In cooperation with the Cologne video artist Petra Hollenbach, who is able to congenially translate Voigt’s idea of intoxicated, beautifully sinister, beginning- and endlessly looped forest sequences into film, an entirely novel musical film monument is created in 2008 that is suitable for the stage.Both in his music as well as in the pictures, there are two central artistic principles that Voigt varies on repeatedly. On the one hand: the loop principle (wallpaper, patterns, loops). This way of thinking, which is also influenced by computer-based music programmes, the principle of repetition and varied repetition (sequence) – permeates his creative work in a multitude of forms. And on the other hand: painting over/condensing/modifying/abstracting samples/scans and loops/patterns at times creates a magical aura in Voigt’s acoustic and visual worlds. Voigt effortlessly blurs the boundaries between the strictly rational form of the quantised beats/photorealistic print motif and the freely abstract deforma- tion and dissolution of the discernable form/structure. When selecting his basic materials, he is often guided by certain preferences but also spontaneous moods or a certain randomness. Often however, the „sources“ are secondary and disappear behind the arrangement. Although it is important that they remain behind it. His work follows certain rules, even if he repeatedly breaks them in the moment of creation by provoking intentional deviations and coincidences through diverse styles / techniques of improvisation when proceeding from certain guidelines, as he often does not find what is „sought for“ in the assumed place but in its proximity. Even if Voigt is unable or unwilling to escape the allure ofthe very abstract he is always aware of the holy laws of the four-four-time and the three minute pop song, as he is likewise of the obliging precision of industrial wallpaper.In particular, because over the years, Voigt as an artist repeatedly lives through the most intensive emotional rollercoasters between productive frenzy and crises of meaning, his work is infused with complexity, contradiction, volatility. Appearing to be fleeing from himself or from his fixations, Voigt’s creativity releases itself again and again in intoxicated fusillades of creativity „fired“ off in high concentration and at great speed. Thus producing the series (the serial principle) so characteristic of Voigt, and which often only differ project-specifically in colour or are numbered sequentially. (Datenzauber 1-4, Studio 1- 10, Gewebe 1- X, etc.).“All my artistic productivity is initially triggered by the same creative energy. Over the years, I have increasingly chosen – partly for good - to „paint“ my music. Quite often, when a particular musical subject has been exhausted, the energy underlying this creative productivity passes over to the pictoral work. In other words, it searches for new forms of expression out of its own accord. Interestingly, I am „re“-inspired, so to speak, by the pictorial work as to how a piece of music should sound/look. So that the music sometimes looks to the visual arts to gain ideas for solving techniques of expression and processing, and vice versa.“

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