Our genre, great as it is, has a tendency for regurgitation. With many artists using the same tools, and many emulating artists who have already achieved some level of success, it’s no wonder that there’s a strong undertone of imitation. I’ve become intrigued by artists who are definitively unique in their style. One of those unmistakably different artists is Gesaffelstein.
Mike Levy, the man behind the moniker, is a French producer who’s worked with A$AP Rocky, Lana Del Rey, and Kanye himself. I first came to know his music this past year at Mysteryland USA in Bethel Woods, NY. He has but one album so far, Aleph.
The album presents throbbing industrial sounds with a undeniably demonic flavor. The extra timbres that Levy adds make his work all the more intricate. The opening track, “Out of Line,” features a whiny, annoyed voice reading a cryptic and befuddling poem.
The sky at dusk
is warm and distant
carrying the day,
leading the light to a better place.
The horizon sets down with inky fatigue,
and the clouds are showing off.
Tonight, we are hundred leagues below, just you and me.
Tonight a bare, sunken love in a bleach-blonde submarine.
Justices way of letting you know,
no matter where you’re going,
no matter what’s in your bag,
you’re never as big as the seats you can’t touch.
It can be a free-fall,
and kick at you.
Never mind, love is
air beneath the water.
The pressure starts.
They’ll keep on turning with or without an audience,
long after you’re gone.
I have changed a few of the lyrics in this, at least according to Metro Lyrics. Next up in the album is his most highly acclaimed track, “Pursuit.” The video is of note as well. It features a constant pan, a golden prosthetic hand, brief spots of nudity, and a military complex.
The next track, “Nameless,” features a crackling, burning sound in it to pique the listener’s imagination. Such textural details serve the listener untold pleasures. In the track “Wall of Memories” there is a kick-drum that sounds like a knock at the door. This is amid the meandering, music-box-like music that issues hauntingly into your ear holes. A steady, throbbing, but discreet, beat ensues with a rattle-like moan attached. The complete sound created is something of a magical experience to behold. The mind ventures to scenes of ritualistic ceremony and supernatural pandemonium.