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Film Soundtracks - Released March 8, 2019 | Mute

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 25, 2014 | Mute

Before the Dawn Heals Us is M83's follow-up to the 2003 international breakthrough Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. If you're noticing a trend toward drifting album titles, that's deliberate -- M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez loves crafting antigravity masterpieces of layered and meandering synthesizers. He's also the principal player on Dawn, with previous collaborator Nicolas Fromageau having moved into solo work. Left to his own devices, Gonzalez has made a more cohesive record than Dead Cities. As nice as they were, that album's synthesized soundscapes tended to drift into a foggy territory between Boards of Canada and Tangerine Dream. Dawn remedies that with the addition of vocals, more consistent beats, and a cinematic pace. "Teen Angst" and "Don't Save Us From the Flames" pin gorgeous melodies to an indie electronic sound comparable to the Notwist; "Flames" in particular is a great departure, roaring out of the gate with giddy drum fills and an oscillating keyboard squiggle. "Farewell/Goodbye" is an icy, Air-ish duet between Ben of Cyann & Ben and Big Sir vocalist Lisa Papineau; it's not the most effective thing on Before the Dawn Heals Us, but it works as a love theme to the imaginary Michael Mann film Gonzalez seems at times to be directing. (Check out that cover art.) The album also has its stretches of instrumental wander. "I Guess I'm Floating," for example, features a scattered sample of children's laughter over lingering keyboard flourishes. But Gonzalez never gets carried away on the breeze -- he'll set a mood, but he'll cut it wide open, too. "Let Men Burn Stars" is a breathy and innocuous lull before the recording's most intense passage, "Car Chase Terror." "Look at my hands, I'm shaking...." a woman (actress Kate Moran) says over the hiss of crickets, her words tense with fear. A moody electronic pulse fades in, and suddenly you're in the midst of the chase, narrated by the same scared voice -- "Turn the key! Go! Go!" -- and the melody is melodramatic and terrifying all at once. Before the Dawn Heals Us is ambitious for sure, an emphatic step forward from the linger of Dead Cities. But it might also be a transition album for Gonzalez, a storyboard of where he'll take M83 next. ~ Johnny Loftus
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 25, 2014 | Mute

On the list as one of the most radiant keyboard albums, M83's absurdly lush Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts combines a small arsenal of antiquated synths and drum machines with a shoegaze aesthetic to create a giant starburst of sound and analog miasma. A French duo comprised of Nicolas Fromageau and Anthony Gonzalez, the pair's songs seem to evolve from one major chord to the next with tremendous velocity, always accumulating dense new layers of sound along the way. The keyboards throb, quiver, arpeggiate, and drone with such unbridled intensity that there's rarely any space (or need) for anything else. But while the shrill analog thrash of "America," the frenzied overload of "0078H," and the sustained crescendo of "Noise" certainly prove beyond doubt that guitars needn't be a prerequisite for post-rock dramatics, M83 are so much more than just a quiet-loud-quiet-loud outfit with a twist. As evidenced by the singsongy hymnal of "In Church," the sweetly sung vocals on "Run Into Flowers," and the provincial chimes of final track "Beauties Can Die," M83 is a keyboard band of the best kind: one with nuance, tone, thrash, and color. ~ Mark Pytlik
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Film Soundtracks - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

Following his well-received score for the multi-million-dollar Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion, M83's Anthony Gonzalez returns to the sound stage to score a film which could not be more different -- a low-budget French sex comedy directed by his brother Yann and starring former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona in one of the lead roles. Naturally the music is very different too, leaving behind Oblivion's epic bombast for a mellow, romantic, intimate orchestral offering which pays homage to the French cinema of the '70s. ~ John D. Buchanan
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Electronic/Dance - Released February 2, 2017 | Mute

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 9, 2016 | Mute

Electronic/Dance - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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M83

Alternative & Indie - Released August 25, 2014 | Mute

The self-titled 2001 debut by the French electronica act M83 displays the group's signature synthesizer-heavy sound at an early stage, but also shows the group floating abstract sonic landscapes that only hint at its later pop-informed aesthetic. (The surging "Sitting" seems like a dry run for the majestic "Run Into Flowers" from Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts.) Featuring spare beats and occasional guitar riffs amidst dense keyboard lines, the disc is practically vocal-free (excepting only a few samples), making it a more conceptual though still compelling record. ~ Eric Schneider

Electronic/Dance - Released January 20, 2017 | Mute

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 16, 2016 | Mute

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 10, 2016 | Mute

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 9, 2014 | Mute

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 9, 2014 | Mute

Electronic/Dance - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute