A few days ago I happened to stumble across a list of Eight Great Minimal Electronic Records You Need to Hear. Minimal techno – if it’s what you could call the music on the list – is something I haven’t listened to a great deal so I thought I’d have a listen.
First up is Königsforst, a 1998 album by GAS, long-term project of Wolfgang Voight.
Long, looping ambient tones evoke an unsettling almost disorienting effect that’s only increased by samples of what seems to be classical music (I would imagine it’s something like Wagner or Berg) with a steady, often muffled techno beat-ever present, a little like hearing someone playing techno in their car far off, somewhere across a wooded landscape. The closest things I can compare it with is the eerie Badalamenti Twin Peaks music or the hauntological Ghost Box. It’s enthralling in a sinister way.
The ambient nature of the pieces on Königsforst also make it difficult, I believe, to term it music in the usual sense. It’s far more a series of sound textures/layers which evoke some emotional (or aesthetic?) response.