French techno producer Gesaffelstein has made a bold and concise statement with the release of his new album Aleph: Gesaffelstein is taking over. Already boasting impressive production credits on albums like Yeezus, and showcasing his versatile sound by remixing the likes of Justice, Lana Del Rey and Depeche Mode, the name Gesaffelstein has been on everyone’s tongue for the past year. In its first day available, Gesaffelstein’s artful and compelling debut album reached the top spot on the iTunes dance chart. After listening to the album in its entirety, it is very clear why. The music is dark and powerful, and each track reflects a diverse blend of influences as they are seamlessly meshed into the producer’s raw, distinct, heavy techno sound. Read past the break for our review of Aleph.
French house doesn’t get a lot of mainstream love these days, but it’s still my favorite flavor of house music. It’s a style that’s all about focusing on a catchy riff (either by sampling or by one’s own creation), adding effects, bending the pitch, and, most commonly, filtering the living daylights out of it (it has been described by some as “filter house,” after all), all while using a variety of looping sequences to keep the groove moving. The French house sound came into maturity at around the same time Daft Punk began to hit their stride; this was in the late ‘90s, during the “Homework” era in Daft Punk chronology. Not to mention that Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo were true titans of the genre as solo artists themselves, using their own platforms (Roulé and Crydamoure, respectively) to dish out quality music with panache.
We never thought we’d say this, but this is a Justin Bieber track that you really need to hear. Louis La Roche completely reworks Bieber’s mega hit “As Long As You Love Me” into something completely unrecognizable from the original. La Roche demonstrates his serious production skills as he chops up and warps vocal samples and layers them over an incredibly infectious deep house groove. Whether you are a Bieber fan or the furthest possible thing from it, you should take a minute to listen to this. Oh, and also the album artwork is pretty hilarious.