M83 - Digital Shades [Vol. I]
Label: EMI Music / MUTE
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition NEW
Released: 03 Sep 2007
Credits: Artwork By [Artwork And Illustration] - Laurent Fétis
Mixed By, Mastered By - Antoine Gaillet
Written-By, Composed By, Performer - Anthony Gonzalez
Notes: Track B2 is an excerpt of the movie soundtrack "By The Kiss" directed by Yann Gonzalez.
The vinyl release contains a CD of the LP
A1 Waves, Waves, Waves (2:30)
A2 Coloring The Void (3:27)
A3 Sister [Part I] (2:15)
A4 Strong And Wasted (1:56)
A5 My Own Strange Path (3:47)
A6 Dancing Mountains (5:05)
B1 Sister [Part II] (2:21)
B2 By The Kiss (4:03)
B3 Space Fertilizer (1:58)
B4 The Highest Journey (8:15)
This time around, Anthony Gonzalez (now the sole member of M83) tries his hand at New Age essentially. Casual fans of the band be warned that this album is largely two-track compositions performed on synthesizer. No drums, no guitar. Unless one is a fan of ambient New Age music, then they should pass on the "Digital Shades" series. That said, the music here is an effective exercise in minimalism, both in melody and arrangement. The fact that Gonzales is able to hold our attention with very little effort for 35 minutes is a testimony to his gifts as a composer. While this album does remind one of the early works of New Age giants like Jean-Michel Jarre & Vangelis, it lacks the depth needed to rise above mediocrity. Still, the hushed sweetness of this work is welcome from an artist known more for his abrasive intensity.
Highlights include the voice-synth magic on "Coloring The Void," the pulsating "My Own Strange Path" which sounds like a reprise of Ennio Morricone's "Gabriel's Oboe," the piano/synth-string lead "Dancing Mountains" & the heavenly finale called "The Highest Journey." For newcomers to M83, start with the band's third album "Before The Dawn Heals Us" as it best represents what Gonzalez's music is all about. He has proven himself to be a master of contrasting the light and dark elements of melody into a symphony of grey.
This is an album for the devoted M83 fan, but Post-Rock music hunters should pass on this effort in favor of the band's first three albums. The final verdict for me is "Digital Shades, Vol. 1" is an interesting work of ambient mood music, which further extends the range of this remarkable Dream-Pop band.
M83 - Dancing Mountains
It's a nice, shadowy and melancholic track. Gotta love M83
M83 - Coloring the Void