At Coachella this April, there was only one act I was dying to see: Gesaffelstein.
I was introduced to the aloof, handsome, French techno artist by a man I matched with on Tinder. (See, not all hope is lost with that app.) I didn’t go on to date the swipe, but it was just the beginning of my love affair with Mike Levy’s Gesaffelstein. Note: it’s pronounced "guess-aff-el-st-eye-n."
I have a quiet affinity for terrifying music. While I loathe scary movies and novels, I’m delightfully haunted by eerie, chilling sounds. Gesaffelstein creates terror with electronica. His work leaves me in a cold sweat, covered in goosebumps and dread, but grinning from ear to ear.
Levy has an impressive resume of remixes and production credits. He helped produce two Yeezus tracks, and has also tweaked songs by A$AP Rocky, Phoenix, and Lana Del Rey.
However, his original ominous work deserves the entire spotlight this time. “Pursuit” must be seen and heard. Yes, stream it above, but you must watch his dark and breathtaking video. It’s spellbinding and uncomfortable. I’m addicted to trying to understand every piece.
In the days before Coachella, headlines broke across my Twitter feed that Gesaffelstein’s upcoming Indio appearance would be his last live show. Who am I to know if that’s true? What I do know is my time spent in his black-and-white-washed Mojave Tent was precious. It was one of the best performances I’ve seen scale at a festival. Levy didn’t say a single word to the crowd. He just consumed an alarming amount of cigarettes and beckoned his shadow crew for more sweat until Coachella staff had to literally cut him off.
I hope to all things holy it’s not his last live event. As of yesterday, the unnerving artist is confirmed for a DJ set at Austin’s own Fun Fun Fun Fest. We will see what transpires this November.