With Paris quiet, French techno star pummels New York

15th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

With music venues shuttered in Paris after the city's bloodbath, one of France's leading DJs, Gesaffelstein, took to a New York warehouse for a dark, heavy set.

Gesaffelstein, known for his somber, industrial techno, in the early hours Sunday headlined Black, an annual all-night rave founded in 2013 that merges a dim dance floor with mood-lit interactive visual arts.

In a waterfront Brooklyn warehouse with a postcard view of the Statue of Liberty, Gesaffelstein pummeled the crowd for an hour and a half with a set driven by harsh industrial-style synthesized loops mingling with danceable mid-tempo beats.

Gesaffelstein, who is on a previously scheduled tour of the United States, chose to speak through music rather than words after the assault by suspected Islamic radicals in Paris where at least 129 people died, most of them at the Bataclan concert hall.

But the previous night in San Francisco, Gesaffelstein brought an unusual moment of silence to a nightclub.

The taciturn, curly-haired DJ made hand gestures to encourage a moment of reflection by the crowd, which briefly hushed and then erupted into a chant of "Vive La France," according to videos posted by fans on social media.

Among other prominent French electronic artists, DJ Snake was on a tour of India, from where he tweeted that he "wasn't in the mood to party" but felt support for Paris.

Gesaffelstein, whose real name is Mike Levy, has won a growing international following through his work for other artists including producing darker tracks on rap giant Kanye West's 2013 "Yeezus" album.

Black, designed by New York's Matte production agency, aims to merge music with visuals and devoted a 1,400 square-meter (15,000 square-foot) basement to installations by rising artists.

British artist Zach Walker set a video camera to a vibrating dish, dropping a small flour-based concoction into it to produce a live image of an object halfway between a scrambled egg and a clay man.

© 2015 AFP

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