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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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Electronic/Dance - Released April 8, 2016 | Mute

Hi-Res Booklet
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 15, 2008 | Mute

Like fellow Frenchmen Air and Daft Punk, M83's Anthony Gonzalez has the knack for making sounds others might think of as outdated, or even tacky, into music that feels stylish and fresh. Saturdays=Youth lives up to its evocative title, but the youth it captures is filtered through nostalgia for the unrepentantly fake sounds of the '80s, transforming them into delicate fantasy pop. Synths whoosh like wind tunnels and ping like lasers, guitars are whipped into ethereal froth, the drums are robotic and proud of it, and the production reproduces the cleaner-than-clean, almost brittle style of the era almost too perfectly. The largely instrumental "Couleurs" races through the night on synth and drum swells that haven't been heard since Miami Vice's heyday, while "Skin of the Night" sounds like it borrows Phil Collins' kit from No Jacket Required. Though Saturdays=Youth often plays like a love letter to artists ranging from the Cocteau Twins to Mr. Mister, it never seems like an exercise designed to just re-create those sounds. The cinematic feel of Before the Dawn Heals Us is stronger than ever here, from the 11-minute finale "Midnight Souls Still Remain," which unfolds like closing credits, to the Breakfast Club-meets-fashion shoot album cover, which makes Saturdays=Youth appear to be the soundtrack to the most glamorous film John Hughes never made. This hyper-stylized teen romance and angst drive the album, taking it to the highest highs and the lowest lows. "We Own the Sky" is jubilant, stretching out into a summery haze of airy vocals and synths; "Too Late" contemplates the end in melodramatic, ultra-romantic fashion, ending with a whispered "you, always." Saturdays=Youth also features some of M83's purest pop yet, which provide many of the album's standouts. "Kim & Jessie" heart-racing young love is one of Gonzalez's finest sonic confections, along with "Graveyard Girl" and the Kate Bush-worshiping "Up!," a sci-fi fairy tale that boasts some fittingly unearthly singing by guest vocalist Morgan Kibby. As super-stylized as its sounds and emotions are, Saturdays=Youth always seems genuine, even when it feels like its songs are made from the memories of other songs. For all of its nostalgic haze, it's some of M83's most focused music. ~ Heather Phares
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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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Electronic/Dance - Released April 8, 2016 | Mute

Booklet
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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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Electronic/Dance - Released October 16, 2015 | Mute

Like fellow Frenchmen Air and Daft Punk, M83's Anthony Gonzalez has the knack for making sounds others might think of as outdated, or even tacky, into music that feels stylish and fresh. Saturdays=Youth lives up to its evocative title, but the youth it captures is filtered through nostalgia for the unrepentantly fake sounds of the '80s, transforming them into delicate fantasy pop. Synths whoosh like wind tunnels and ping like lasers, guitars are whipped into ethereal froth, the drums are robotic and proud of it, and the production reproduces the cleaner-than-clean, almost brittle style of the era almost too perfectly. The largely instrumental "Couleurs" races through the night on synth and drum swells that haven't been heard since Miami Vice's heyday, while "Skin of the Night" sounds like it borrows Phil Collins' kit from No Jacket Required. Though Saturdays=Youth often plays like a love letter to artists ranging from the Cocteau Twins to Mr. Mister, it never seems like an exercise designed to just re-create those sounds. The cinematic feel of Before the Dawn Heals Us is stronger than ever here, from the 11-minute finale "Midnight Souls Still Remain," which unfolds like closing credits, to the Breakfast Club-meets-fashion shoot album cover, which makes Saturdays=Youth appear to be the soundtrack to the most glamorous film John Hughes never made. This hyper-stylized teen romance and angst drive the album, taking it to the highest highs and the lowest lows. "We Own the Sky" is jubilant, stretching out into a summery haze of airy vocals and synths; "Too Late" contemplates the end in melodramatic, ultra-romantic fashion, ending with a whispered "you, always." Saturdays=Youth also features some of M83's purest pop yet, which provide many of the album's standouts. "Kim & Jessie" heart-racing young love is one of Gonzalez's finest sonic confections, along with "Graveyard Girl" and the Kate Bush-worshiping "Up!," a sci-fi fairy tale that boasts some fittingly unearthly singing by guest vocalist Morgan Kibby. As super-stylized as its sounds and emotions are, Saturdays=Youth always seems genuine, even when it feels like its songs are made from the memories of other songs. For all of its nostalgic haze, it's some of M83's most focused music. ~ Heather Phares

Alternative & Indie - Released September 16, 2016 | Mute

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 1, 2014 | Mute

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 10, 2007 | Mute

Recorded between Before the Dawn Heals Us and Saturdays=Youth, Digital Shades, Vol. 1 dives deeper into the ambient terrain that gives M83's other albums their uniquely hazy beauty. Anthony Gonzalez's love for the works of Brian Eno and other ambient masters has never been a secret, but M83's synths sound especially lush and massive here -- it's no coincidence that the album's opening track is called "Waves, Waves, Waves," and song titles like "Dancing Mountains" hint at the album's huge yet serene sound. Most of Digital Shades, Vol. 1 goes by in a blissful blur, with extra-soothing respites such as "Strong and Wasted," which incorporates crashing waves and chirping birds into its digital pastoral paradise. Since these songs are basically an homage to Gonzalez's ambient inspirations, it's not surprising that the album is more pleasant than groundbreaking. The songs with vocals, like the hyper-romantic "Coloring the Void" and "Sister, Pt. 2," find a happy medium between M83's other albums and the artists Gonzalez is paying tribute to on the instrumental tracks. However, the fittingly named "Highest Journey" shows Gonzalez's instrumental skills at the peak of their powers as it builds from a simple, rolling piano melody to stratospheric synth textures over the course of eight minutes. Even if it isn't strikingly original, Digital Shades, Vol. 1 is never less than lovely and soothing, and works as well as mood music as it does as an exercise for Gonzalez. ~ Heather Phares
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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 June 10, 2016 | Mute

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Electronic/Dance - Released September 9, 2014 | Mute