Darkness is more than just the token descriptor we’ve landed on to detail Gesaffelstein’s brooding, shadowy sonic products. In fact, it’s more than merely his brand—at this point, Gesaffelstein is darkness. Though, his embodiment of it is less about the sinister undertone of his productions now and more reliant on the literal concept of light’s absence, as represented in his Coachella performance on Sunday, April 14.
In his first live festival appearance since his 2015 farewell, Gesaffelstein became the only artist to every use Vantablack VBx2, commonly understood to be the darkest substance known to man. It the the closest visual representation to the darkness of a black hole that our eyes will ever see. The substance is typically used in space applications, though Mike Lévy had a different vision for its use. When applied to three-dimensional objects, Vantablack is so dark that it becomes nearly impossible to discern any surface features, and three-dimensional objects appear to become two-dimensional. Gesaffelstein’s Outdoor Stage performance featured a monolith structure coated in Vantablack on the concave side to create the illusion of infinite depth and blackness—essentially simulating a black hole on stage.
Hot off the heels of his sophomore album, Hyperion, Gesaffelstein is taking his craft to another level of other-worldliness. Catch Gesaffelstein again during Coachella’s second weekend and then Governor’s Ball later this summer.