Gesaffelstein – Aleph and I Love Techno
As mentioned previously a recent night out at the club exposed me to some new music that had been out for a couple of years but I had somehow missed out on. I’m so glad to have discovered French techno artist Mike Levy, known as Gesaffelstein, this way. Mike has an impressive resume having remixed Depeche Mode, Moby and Lana Del Ray, collaborated with Jean Michel Jarre and produced a couple of tracks on Kayne’s Yeezus album. All of that is great but it is with his own music that he really shines.
After just one listen the Aleph CD from 2014 reminded me of a European tour of classic electronic music. I heard direct influence from Switzerland’s Yello, Germany’s Kraftwerk, Belgium’s Front 242 and Italy’s Goblin. Toss in some slight nods to hip hop beats and tweeks one can easily see what would have drawn Kanye West to the Gesaffelstein sound. Sometimes this album delivers pounding beats straight out of the club, sometimes its a slow and scary soundtrack for your next nightmare. Levy’s approach is versatile and highly listenable, unlike many instrumental electronic dance albums. Be sure to watch his artfully freaky and captivating video for stand out track “Pursuit”, censored on Youtube (below) or full on via Vimeo.
The other disc I picked up, 2013’s I Love Techno is a compilation of tracks from artists like The Hacker and Adam X that Gessafelstein curated and mixed. So it is more like a DJ set than an album but it is fun to have an “instant club night” on your phone, crank it up and just add a strobe light. Most compilations of this sort have no personality but Levy did a nice job of choosing tracks that melded well with his style, resulting in a comp that has a cohesive flow.