When French producer Gesaffelstein released his highly-praised debut album 'Aleph' back in 2013, it was met with a mix of acclaim and acceptance at the baetmaker's attempt to bring overtly aggressive techno music to a modern ear. Add that to his work on Kanye West's 'Yeezus' album and he was quickly becoming the golden child of mind-bending beats and electronics. But having slipped into the background for the last six years, the producer finally makes his return with his sophomore LP 'Hyperion', a record that sees him aim far closer to the mainstream than many were expecting.
Recruiting a huge array of guest talent including Pharrell Williams, The Weeknd, Haim and many more, he seems for focused in becoming a backdrop for other artists to imprint their own direction on. This seems most apparent in the record's first few singles. Opening up with the title-track and following with 'Reset', the album quickly makes its intentions clear with a sparse and experimental edge. Yet when The Weeknd crops up with his guest verse on 'Lost In The Fire', the tone of his production dramatically changes, almost wilting into the background and becoming less of a collaborator and more of a sidecar to his featured artist.
This seems to be the theme of this new release, where his solo material acts in a dramatically different way to when he is joined by another musician. This makes for an incredibly hard to digest release as his pace and direction seems to falter under the weight of another person in the room. 'Hyperion' may have its odd glimmers of greatness but overall just never really gets itself going and ends up shifting too hard to be enjoyed as a whole.