M83

Digital Shades, Vol. 1 | Mute
By RICHARD BECK  |  December 26, 2007
2.0 2.0 Stars
071229_m83_main
Having carved out a comfortable niche as masters of breathless, elegiac, synth-based pop, the French duo M83 (Anthony Gonzalez and Nicolas Fromageau) do something unexpected on Digital Shades, Vol. 1, diving headlong into ambient music. Clocking in at just over 35 minutes, the disc is a collection of not-quite-fleshed-out sketches rather than detailed soundscapes ready for prime time. That may work for noise punk, but it doesn’t here. The album’s title could be read as an oblique reference to Aphex Twin’s ambient masterpiece Selected Ambient Works, Vol. II, which succeeded thanks to Richard D. James’s ability to modulate a stable foundation of sounds over spans of seven or eight minutes, with unexpected twists and turns around every corner. But Gonzalez and Fromageau create soundscapes that simply glide along for a few minutes and then abruptly end. The sounds they generate are pretty enough, but they never lead anywhere.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Electronic Music,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY RICHARD BECK
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   PLUCK AND DETERMINATION  |  March 09, 2010
    People have always thought that Joanna Newsom was indulgent. At first, it was about her voice — the kind of nasal yelp that usually keeps a performer from getting on stage at all. Then, on her second album, it was about her vocabulary and her instrumentation.
  •   SONG OF HERSELF  |  August 05, 2009
    "Listen, I will go on record saying I love Feist, I love Neko Case. I love that music. But that shit's easy listening for the twentysomethings. It fucking is. It's not hard to listen to any of that stuff."
  •   DJ QUIK AND KURUPT | BLAQKOUT  |  June 15, 2009
    LA hip-hop has two threads, and DJ Quik pulls both of them. The first is g-funk, a production style that relies on deep, open grooves and an endless parade of funk samples.
  •   FLIPPER | LOVE  |  May 26, 2009
    Flipper formed in San Francisco in 1979, and they're remembered three decades later because of a song called "Sex Bomb" that's one of the funniest pieces of music I've ever heard.
  •   ST. VINCENT'S ACTOR GETS A RUN-THROUGH  |  May 26, 2009
    There were not one but two clarinets on stage at the Somerville Theatre on Tuesday night, and that gives you some idea of how intricate Annie Clark's chamber-pop compositions can be.

 See all articles by: RICHARD BECK