The dark lord of techno Gesaffelstein has hinted at an imminent return this year after launching mysterious billboards in cities across the globe, signing to Columbia Records and releasing a teaser video following a three-year hiatus.
Since his 2013 debut album, Aleph, was released via Skrillex’s OWSLA label, the French DJ has gone on to produce the full soundtrack for 2015 French thriller Maryland, as well as tracks from Kanye West‘s Yeezus, The Weeknd‘s My Dear Melancholy and more.
He has also brought his signature chilling sounds into remixed versions of songs from Lana Del Rey, Phoenix, Depeche Mode and other prominent artists. His effortless blend of brooding rhythms and wicked melodies make his music just as fitting for a horror film as a dance floor.
When talking about dance music, it’s hard to leave Gesaffelstein’s mysterious formulas for electrifying melodies and heavy beats out of the equation. Billboard Dance has compiled a list of the eight best songs from the enigmatic man behind the seriously sinister sounds.
8. ZZT – “ZZafrika Gesaffelstein” remix
ZZT consists of Munich-based musician and producer Zombie Nation (Florian Senfter) and Canadian-based musician and DJ Tiga James Sontag. Gesaffelstein delivers a menacing take on an already experimental track by incorporating his own rhythmic roller coaster.
7. Gesaffelstein – “Aleph”
From the 2013 album of the same name, Gesaffelstein brings a surprisingly slowed-down track with haunting vocals and an introduction reminiscent to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” The track appears in Maryland as the French producer maintains an eerie, dreamlike feel with a melody that is sure to propel his listeners into another world.
6. Gesaffelstein – “Viol”
Gesaffelstein has created a song that fits accordingly in the background of a horror movie scene, with sounds of creaking doors exploding into layers of beats and a heavy bass line that could just as easily fit on a crowded dance floor.
5. Lana Del Rey – “Blue Jeans” Gesaffelstein remix
Lana Del Rey’s smooth vocals pair well with Gesaffelstein’s gritty undertones on this deliciously dark twist on Del Rey’s original 2012 hit.
4. Gesaffelstein – “Selected Faces”
“Selected Faces” from Gesaffelstein’s Variations is the perfect headbanging tune for those looking to maintain a spooky feel all year ’round.
3. Gesaffelstein – “OPR”
From his Conspiracy Pt.1 release, the French DJ brings a track with a simple beginning into a web of hypnotic beats by adding more elements to it as it goes on, creating the perfect ominous-yet-fun track. By the end, Gesaffelstein has given us a glimpse into the depths of his unruly underworld.
2. Gesaffelstein – “Pursuit”
The second track from the 2013 Aleph album sets an ominous tone that is just as magnetic as it is scary. From the beginning, “Pursuit” is a high-paced thrill with an effortless blend of tempo and melody.
1. Gesaffelstein – “Control Movement”
From the Bromance #1 – Single, “Control Movement” is the masterful collaborative track of Gesaffelstein and fellow French DJ and producer Brodinski, who both showcase their intricate musicianship through a blend of dynamic sounds and a euphoric melody.