It’s about time that Gesaffelstein, one of the emerging names on the electronic dance music scene, released his first album. After several successful EPs on various labels, most notably his recent Bromance releases with Brodinski, Gesaffelstein’s stock has risen sharply – enough to work with Daft Punk on Kanye West’s latest album. Pretty high praise indeed.
Gesaffelstein’s first solo LP effort is a solid record, keeping with the slow, steady and melodic beats with which he’s become known, but packing in a few more exciting songs to please the more energetic among us.
At times the album feels like a great soundtrack to a sci-fi movie or game. The start of the album, in particular the opener “Out of Line” and “Destinations” have a great atmosphere to them, with vocals providing a narrative that builds along with the music.
Most of the songs take the slower approach, particularly towards the middle of the album. “Aleph” and “Wall of Memories” back-to-back almost provide a feeling of relaxation before the pace picks up again. I can’t help but feel there are too many of these songs that build slowly only to finish before much is made of it. The album closer “Perfection” is a prime culprit.
The real draw of the album, though, is the songs that make you want to hit the dance floor, and Aleph peppers them throughout. The album’s lead single “Pursuit” is a great example of the signature composition of the album, whilst taking a higher tempo and louder vibe. “Obsession” captures the industrial sound of Gesaffelstein’s past songs, like “Control Movement”, and takes it to an upbeat club-friendly tone. The influence of Brodinski’s music can be felt on the penultimate track “Trans”, with a very familiar drop and a very French build-up to the end of the song.
The absolute highlight of the album for me is “Duel”, a song that takes off fast and doesn’t slow down until it lands. Packed with synth hits, it is the killer rave on what is a more controlled record.
Aleph is an album you have to listen to if you have an interest in techno/house.
If you want to check out Aleph in full, give it a listen via Spotify below: