Gesaffelstein: Dancefloor Brutalist

Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places, but it’s tough as hell to find pure, unapologetic club music. I mean the kind that hasn’t been watered down into 4-minute radio friendly unit shifters or defanged by a slew of irrelevant guest vocalists in an attempt to cross over into the mainstream.

Gesaffelstein – Opr.mp3

Gesaffelstein does not fuck around. This is peak EDM. This is going-out-of-your-head-at-2-am. No concessions are made for those skirting the edge of the scene or for the “I came here for the drugs” attendees. This is for those who love tough beats, electronic noises and having their perception altered by nothing more than pummeling percussion and stuttering strobe lights. If you like this sort of thing, than you’ll love Gesaffelstein. NOT FOR TOURISTS.

Gesaffelstein – Viol.mp3

Compares very favorably to Simian Mobile Disco’s brutal return to form on Delicacies. Everything Gesaffelstein touches turns into a techno purist’s dream. Exclusionary by design but a lovingly crafted care package to the faithful.

Gesaffelstein Fact Sheet:

Real name: Archduke Mike “Levy” Gesaffelstein
Hometown: France (I’m American — this is how Europe works for us)
Genre: Fine-ass techno.
Fun fact: The built-in spelling check highlighted nearly a third of the words in this post. Gesaffelstein always performs in a suit.




Filed under Electronica

2 responses to “Gesaffelstein: Dancefloor Brutalist

  1. Confession time: I am a tourist, and you are totally wrong. I actually find “club” music, or “techno” or what-have-you, kind of irritating at best, but this? This is listenable. Why? Can you explain this to me?

    I think my brain rejects catchy and clings to cacophony, or at least multi-layered music. These songs are like watching someone paint with oils. Sketching, underpainting, background, subject, light, undertones, highlights…you feel me? I hear some Bauhaus, and some NIN in there, too, which of course appeals to my former self. But it’s so simplistic! What I am saying here is WTF? Why do I like this?

    It’s probably all because of the now defunct Limelight in New York. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

    • I don’t know if I can explain this to you. Maybe it’s simply because it’s incredibly well-crafted. There are plenty of plug-in hacks who can get all the noises lined up and still end up sounding tracky, uninspired or just flat out obnoxious.

      Many, many people cannot or will not hear these layers you hear and write off techno, edm, etc. (the genre name keeps changing) as “boring” and “repetitive.” A lot of it can be but the best stuff morphs constantly, and not in BIG WOW I SEE IT sort of ways.

      Maybe it’s the Limelight. Maybe it’s your musical background. Maybe it’s just that these tracks click when a million others won’t.

      When I hear it, I hear the layers and the refreshing washes/buzzes/clangs of complementary noise. But if someone (a touristy type) were to ask me to recommend some “techno” to dip their toes into, I wouldn’t start here.

      Here’s a couple more excellent tracks from the Archduke.

      From the Bromance EP (with Brodinski):

      Remixing an old hand at electronic music (a bit of tempo shift for Gesaffelstein):