Voigt is owner of the Kompakt label and on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, was invited to contribute to Art Cologne, Colognes highly respected art fair. For the event, Voigt designed the sound installation “Inter Alia” which was situated in the entrance area of the art fair.
On this album Zukunft Ohne Menschen (Future Without People), released 2nd September of this year, Voigt has created a multimedia concept in ten parts which incorporate music, video and digital painting. With the album comes not only the CD itself but also 10 pieces of artwork presented in a deluxe book format.
Sequenced synths and a driving insistent four to the floor beat propel the first track forward with the bass sequence in the background keeping a steady hold whilst an unrelenting snare sound snaps in your brain and draws you into the ever evolving procession of bleeps. It’s good stuff and it bridges the worlds of club electronica, machine music and art. This style is continued into track two and it is quintessentially German in its style and I mean that in a good way in that whilst it appears that the machines making the music are being allowed to do their own thing they are being very much kept under control by the man.
Track 3 slows the pace a little with the sequenced bass and bleeps remain a constant, but here the kick drum has gone and we are left with a stark and barren musical landscape with a somewhat sinister edge to it. Listen to this on your iPod whilst walking home late at night through the deserted streets and you would be looking over your shoulder at the shadows in doorways expecting something to come out of them and follow you home.
Track 4 is back to the driving eight-step sequenced bass patterns with delayed sequenced bleeps overlaid. Thinking about the music you are reminded of the title of the album and I had the mental picture of a conversation between two machines operating without human interference or control.
The opening few notes to track five, and I really can’t get this out of my head every time I listen to the piece, conjures up a Christmas vibe, but this soon gives way to yet more barren musical bleeps and delayed and sequenced bass notes. Like the previous couple of tracks it’s edgy, bleak and unnerving and this continues through to track eight which slows to an electronic spastic waltz.
Track ten is a long 10’05” piece that doesn’t really go anywhere and that’s not meant in any kind of negative sense, rather it marches forward at a slow pace – a single machine moving onwards with the occasional (“are we there yet”?) chatter from a younger machine at its side.
The final track is a more up beat number and is much more complex in its rhythms whilst maintaining that obsessive sequenced bass. It seems like a celebration of perhaps reaching a destination and that’s a great finale to the album.
What I like about this record is that Voigt has kept a very minimal palette of sounds which help to create a mental image of an austere, barren and desolate ultimate future landscape which is indeed devoid of human input. It’s not music that will give the four to the floor brigade the instant gratification of a techno club track but that’s not really the point of this record. What you do get is music, that through its apparently simple structure and its avoidance of using lots of different sounds, makes you think about the future of a world where perhaps we won’t be around.