Electro house's moment has come and passed, leaving the remaining survivors to either hold onto a dying genre, or attempt to forge on in new directions. Most have picked the latter, attempting to fuse the genre with the more popular strands of dance music at the moment such as dubstep or moombahton. However, newcomers have arrived on the scene oblivious to this trend and remain stoutly faithful to electro house's original sound. Gesaffelstein is another in a long line of French purveyors obsessed with distorted synths and heavy kick drums, but has infused it with sensibilities of techno and become one of the more refreshing producers in the scene.
Gesaffelstein's “Bromance #4: Rise of Depravity” is another release on fellow peer and collaborator Brodinsky's Bromance Records label. Lead track “Depravity” begins with paranoid synth bleeps that grow more and more anxious before all hell breaks loose a minute and half in. Distorted synths and clattering percussion drop into the mix sending the track into overdrive. An overly gratuitous build up occurs halfway through complete with rave sirens which I was unaware are still requisites in dance tracks, unless you are making a throwback 'ardcore anthem. Jolts of kick drum hits over eerie synths kick off “Belgium.” A robotic voice announces the song's title and then the track truly begins. Warped, distorted synths over fairly straightforward, pounding percussion characterize the rest of the song. Nearly two minutes in, most of the track's elements drop out save for some bouncy, clackity percussion which hint at the possibility for Gesaffelstein to break away from his modus operandi and take the record in a new direction, but it quickly goes back towards the brutal electro house he has built his name on.
The problem with Gesaffelstein's sound is one that has befallen the fate of most who have dabbled in electro house, he has become a one trick pony. His brand of electro house is no thrills and does what it sets out to do fairly well, which is to create crushing dance tracks that would murder a dancefloor, but while his productions were once considered exciting, they now merely sound monotonous. One is ultimately left wondering if he could achieve more if he bothered to widen his sound palette and toy around with new dynamics. There is the sneaky feeling that like Boys Noize, he has the potential to move beyond the trappings of electro house and explore new territory that is not a stylistic dead end.