Mike Levy aka Gesaffelstein is a French techno artist and DJ most famous for his work on Kanye West's Yeezus.
He was born in Lyons, France in 1985. At the moment when techno and dubstep are producing new heroes amongst a handful of French DJs, Mike Levy has chosen a different route for his musical expression. His energizing techno, dark and obsessional, works the dance-floor yet at the same time continues to mine emotional landscapes and powerful atmospheres. Inspired by Kraftwerk but also electronic music born from Punk and New Wave, Gesaffelstein mixes current techno with cutting rhythms and dissonant tones from pioneers like DAF, Front 242 or Nitzer Ebb; a kind of ‘dance metal’. On where the name Gesaffelstein came from:
Around 19 years old, I lived alone in Belgium for 6 months. I was reading Einstein’s biography and it was really interesting. My name is a merging of “Einstein” and “Gesamtkunstwerk” which means “absolute art” in German - which is a term to refer to imagery, music, etc., all at once. It’s a little pretentious but I like that pretentious aspect to it. In my opinion, music isn’t amusing, it isn’t for laughs. The Hacker often tells me: “You need to do things seriously, without taking yourself seriously.” I think that’s a good compromise. I personally don’t respect those who make music for fun. Art has never been something for laughs. Art needs to be deep, so if certain artists make light of their emotions, then that must mean they’re not all that interesting. I knew that it was complicated but I didn’t want a simple name. I also tell myself that if people remember a complicated name, then that means it marked them. A simple name, a trivial one, I don’t want that.
Title track posted below (thanks to user Yeezus for the tip).