With his name introduced to the realm of popular music by way of Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead,” Gesaffelstein is certainly much more than a new production prodigy. In fact, the French artist (born Mike Levy) has helped to usher in a new sonic landscape, creatively combining sounds from trap, industrial rock, and EDM to revive a relatively dormant techno scene. With his full-length Aleph LP receiving numerous accolades for its innovative composition, HYPETRAK took the opportunity to speak with the young artist before a recent performance at Webster Hall in New York City. Tackling subjects like the creative process behind Aleph, working with Kanye West, and his thoughts on live performances, the interview certainly gives good insight into one of today’s burgeoning artists. Enjoy key excerpts below and catch the full-length piece on HYPETRAK’s website.
You have been active within the music scene for years but you just released your debut full-lengthAleph a couple of months ago. How did you know you were ready to put it out?
Since 2010, not taking remixes into account, I haven’t put out that much material. I just wanted to gather all those things that influenced me since the very beginning and make sure it felt right.
Aleph is quite emotionally driven. What emotions played the biggest role in terms of creation/production of the album? Did you have a pre-designed road map for it?
The idea was to create a strong musical entity that could go back and forth from dark and violent things to some more melancholic and dramatic sounds. When I wasn’t at my studio, I used to write down some ideas to memorize and put them into music.
How does it feel to have it out and are you happy with the reception?
It’s a really odd feeling. I feel like I did all those researches on my own sound unconsciously. All the feedbacks have been amazing so far, I’m really happy about it.