Novo Sonic System is out on Columbia Records

In April, I watched in awe as Gesaffelstein unveiled the iconic new live show behind his latest album, Hyperion. Two stunning vantablack monoliths parted as beaming white lights peered dramatically over a sea of eager Coachella fans. The artist born Mike Lévy then stepped out in one of the sleekest custom Balmain suits ever made and threw down an iconic set. I knew at that exact moment I needed to see Gesaffelstein perform again.
Thankfully, on the heels of Novo Sonic System, his newest EP, the French DJ made a rare stop in D.C., and it was beyond everything imaginable. I never thought I’d hear the dark rumbling sounds of industrial techno and tech-house exploding from The Anthem but Lévy arrived with his diverse catalog of albums, singles, and a few essential collabs, ready to perform an unforgettable set.

With Hyperion, Gesaffelstein definitely features a strong roster of top musicians like Pharell, The Weeknd, and HAIM, but what’s most drawing is the album’s post-apocalyptic vibe and cohesion.  Though the title track itself is much more frenetic and uncontainable like Novo Sonic Systemtracks like the album closer “Humanity Gone” are cinematic and prophetic. The song opens with increasingly dramatic organs before cutting into a wailing electronic soundscape that is luring and singular.
“Doom” and “Dance X,”  two of the more haunting and intimidating tracks on Novo, cut between songs from Hyperion with excitement, igniting the dancefloor beyond belief. Somehow, through it all, we got taken back to 2011 with live performances of “Viol” and “Opr” I’ll never forget. “Blast Off” followed soon after – check out the Pharrell party-starter below.

Though “Reset,” from Hyperion is such a banger and so is The Weeknd’s collab hit “Lost in the Fire,” I completely lost my mind when he dropped “Hellifornia” from his debut album, AlephThat hip-hop-influenced siren is so iconic and the track was literally made for cavernous dark venues like The Anthem.

Before the show ended, Gesaffelstein played his rock-influenced track “Orck,” which featured the same chaotic strobes that led the night. He then disappeared into the darkness, just as he arrived, to the chilling sounds of “Humanity Gone.” Other must-hear tracks on Hyperion include HAIM collab “So Bad,” “Vortex” and more. Though a Gesaffelstein show is rare to catch, keep your eye for future ones here and see past coverage here.


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