Album Review: Adelph by Gesaffelstein


Let me start by saying that 25-year-old producer and DJ Gesaffelstein (government

name, Mike Levy) is so French that his farts probably look fantastic in film noir.

He claims that he didn’t have much of an interest in music through his youth,

scorns those who define his music as “EDM,” and said, in an interview with BBC,

“To be honest, I know nothing about hip hop. I was not inspired by hip hop. I just

discovered hip hop a few years ago with Brodinski, and he was a big fan of hip hop,

playing hip hop all the time, and I was like, ‘Please stop this music.’”

But, as it turns out, he might be the most influential hip hop producer of 2013,

producing “Black Skinhead” and “Send it Up” for that guy that’s married to Kim

Kardashian. Gesaffelstein strictly lives by his own perception of what good music

is, pulling inspiration from wherever he pleases, and establishing himself as a

God of the analog synthesizer. One has to love the ruthless attitude he takes to

producing his music, his demeanor mirroring a competitive attitude found in most

cage fighters. “When I listen to a track that I love,” he said, in an interview with

PlanetNotion, “I don’t listen to it a thousand times, I just need to go in my studio and

I try to produce something better.”

And it’s this competitive nature that produces the violence that pours through

most tracks on Adelph, showing Gesaffelstein’s innate ability to produce top-
notch bangers. The album’s second track, “Pursuit,” sounds like it was produced

by an agent from The Matrix, and “Hellifornia,” the album’s seventh track, takes

the familiar high-pitched whines you remember from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and

flips them on their head. He pairs them with echoes that make you feel like you’re

isolated in a Saw room, and 808s that make your heart do something you’ve only

seen in the Alien movies. “Trans,” maybe my favorite track on the album, progresses

in such a way that it reminds me of the early work of Daft Punk, the originators of

The French Banger.

However, the album changes pace from track-to-track quite frequently, moving from

jams that feel like they should be played inside of a tank to airy tunes that could be

played as a slow jams at Robot Prom, 2063. One has to respect the movement of

“Perfection” and “Piece of Furniture,” but it’s in tracks like “Wall of Memories” that

the young producer shows a chink in his armor. In the ultra-unique album, this track

falls into the background, seeming like filler he produced for Tinkerbelle’s upcoming

solo album.

Overall, the album is extremely promising. The attitude he takes to producing

his music, albeit wickedly French, is the kind of attitude that progresses genres

and leads to success in all markets. Gesaffelstein is not interested in revolving or

evolving one genre; he’s interested in disrupting all genres. His name, a combination

of “Gesamtunstwerk,” the German word for “the perfection of art,” and Einstein,

the German physicist that we like to put on posters with his tongue out, shows that

maybe he’s interested in something greater than the direction of the mainstream electronic music scene. Maybe

it’s not EDM. Maybe it’s not hip hop. But maybe, just maybe, this guy could change

what we define as hip hop production forever.

- Jake Lancaster