Awakenings Summer Festival
Listening to Gesaffelstein pieces can’t be just a passive, light-headed activity: you need to let yourself fully go inside it. The experience might seem dark and heavy, but it’s actually so fine-tuned it ends up giving you an impression of intense satisfaction: it’s a deep pleasure to hear an artist express the hard-edged, angst-ridden vibe of our contemporary times with such detail and such perfect sense of form. There’s a strong classicist feeling to his whole work: nothing is useless or ill-ordered, every sound and every silence are necessary and strongly tied to the rest of the action. It’s like a superior force makes them be just where they are: it’s not about a « personal decision », and more about following a grander structure. Things in Gesaffelstein tracks can sometimes get extremely tense, sometimes unbelievably self-assured and dominant, other times just plain cathartic, while they can also just float through grey shadowed areas, being numb and lost. But this wide range of feelings is actually serving one unique design : making proper art music for a never-ending, splendid apocalypse.
As a DJ, Gesaffelstein is not what you could call a crowd-pleaser: he plays heavy-minded music with bold precision and is not here to make you dance like jitterbugs or to soundtrack your pick-up tactics. His live shows are equally severe: no audience bonding at all, just rugged, immersive sound matter, arranged with sadistic care and respect.